How Prepared is your Business against Data Breach?

Data breach remains one of the most critical threats for any business; large, small, and medium. This post takes you through a quick questionnaire which will help you understand how vulnerable your company is to data breach.


What is Data Breach?
When confidential data of an organization or an individual is lost or illegally obtained by miscreants for whatever purpose, it is known as data breach. Such security mishap can have a paralyzing effect, especially on enterprises. The effect can occur in the form of disturbed operations, heavy lawsuits, disgruntled customers, and brand erosion.

1. How Analyzed is your Company’s Data Bank?
Even if you take a rough guess about the amount of crucial data that any odd organization processes in a week, the figure would be no where below than 11 – 15 terabytes. And obviously, the figure tends to increase with time. So, with such humongous amount of data, with no system to monitor it in real-time, and to analyze it (what type of data it is, where it is stored, who owns it, etc.), “data breach” becomes a point-blank catastrophe.

2. Is your Staff Phish-Proof?
Phishing, despite its old-world characteristics, still remains the heavy weight champion in the ring of cyber-crime. In a phishing scam, targets will receive spoofed emails which look like to have been sent from a trusted organization. Such emails aim to trick their victims into divulging sensitive information, or click malicious links to drop malware. So, out of 50 employees, even if one falls prey to a phishing email, the security of the entire corporate network could be compromised.

3. How Strong is your Defense against Sophisticated Malware?
Come what may, the only goal cyber criminals have is to make their attacks more sophisticated and destructible with time. The sophistication of most malware depends on how well they can remain into hiding; in other words, their ability to dodge detection by security software. For instance, the malware duo Vobfus and Beebone help each other survive and evade security systems, by downloading a variant of the other. Also, there are other types of malware that can remain dormant within a network for months, and sometimes years, waiting for the right time to strike and strike hard.

4. Do you have any Suspects?
When it comes to preventing data breach/theft, being a miser with your “trust currency” is wise. A blindfold assumption that your environment is filled with God-fearing angels only means shoveling the grave deeper. Have you thought about putting a threat assessment exercise in place, to detect both external and internal threats to your IT security? A threat analysis must begin with identifying financially-driven hackers, hactivists, and most importantly state-sponsored cyber spying.

5. Who’s the Rat in your System?
Charity should always begin at home. History shows that, financially, data breaches caused by internal miscreants hit harder than those resulting from external sources. So, define the cruciality of the data your business runs on. This would help you gauge the importance of monitoring the activities of your employees. And all these efforts will go into giving you a 360 degree view of your entire threat landscape.

6. What is the Weakest Link in your Chain of IT security?
IT security is a chain welded with several links, be it machines or humans. One weak link in this chain is all that hackers need to launch a full blown attack against the entire corporate network. So evaluating the weakest spot or a potentially weak spot in your blanket of security, should be a no-brainer. For starters, you can begin with educating your employees about the importance of using stronger passwords. They say that humans are still the weakest link in information security; it’s time we did something about this statement.

7. How serious are your Allies about their Information Security?
Speaking of “weakest link” again, your business partners can also become the cause of a security mishap in your network. After all, it is with them that you exchange, may be not entirely, but a good portion of crucial data. And this fact is not hidden from cyber crooks. A single data breach in your partners’ network can work as the gun powder for hackers to blaze your organization left and right.

8. Are you sure you do not require anything more than just an Antivirus?
The wild woods of malware have grown their roots so deep, that putting your enterprise security only in the hands of an antivirus software, is like losing the battle before it even starts. A multilayered defense mechanism should be your first choice, so that even if one layer of security goes down, another one will still be there to prevent a complete breach. Right from the gateway till the end point, every component should be secured.

The world is fast digitalizing, creating bigger avenues for cyber criminals. There is no dearth of resources that can help us secure our digital assets. We only need to decide what we have, what we need to protect, and where to look for the right protection.

Rajiv Singha

Rajiv Singha

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