8 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach

A phone signaling a security breach

In today’s data economy, information is more sacred than ever. Unfortunately, it can be accessed by invaders through data breaches. This guide highlights 8 ways to prevent data breaches and keep intruders out of your system. 


Key Takeaways


  • A data breach can result in a significant loss of customers for an organization
  • Cybercriminals employ tactics like brute-force attacks and structured query language (SQL) injections to gain unauthorized access to your system
  • The first step to preventing a data breach is educating relevant personnel
  • It’s best to hire a pro to handle your security issues


According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a breach is over $4 million. This includes loss of reputation, customers, and profits. Clearly, data breaches don’t bode well for companies. 


However, you can sidestep these situations by learning data breach prevention techniques. This guide discusses what a data breach is and what causes it. We also outline eight techniques you can employ to prevent data breaches in your organization. Let’s dive in.


What a data breach is


A data breach occurs when an unauthorized party accesses confidential information without the owner’s consent. If the information is confidential, how does an unauthorized person access it? 


Data breach methods


Unauthorized parties access confidential information in multiple ways. However, common methods for such cyberattacks include the following:


  • Brute-force attacks
  • Malware
  • Denial of service (DOS) attacks
  • Phishing
  • SQL injections


Ways you can prevent a data breach


Now, let’s examine eight techniques to protect your organization from all kinds of data breaches.

  • Educate relevant personnel


The first step to preventing a data breach is to educate your employees and personnel who handle sensitive information on the importance of protecting their data. But it doesn’t end there.


You need to teach your employees to identify scams and viruses and to avoid or report them if they encounter one. You can also educate employees on security practices like creating secure passwords and changing passwords frequently.

  • Identify sensitive data and where you store it


The targets of most data breaches are nonpublic personal information, intellectual property, and personally identifiable information. This information is easier to sell on the dark web, hence its popularity. 


If you can identify these types of data in your system and secure their save locations, you’re likely to reduce the risk of a data breach. After all, “you can’t secure what you don’t know you have.”

  • Assess and analyze risk


Every new person you add to your organization’s network is a risk. However, risks occur in levels. You need to determine the level of risk each person poses to your organization.


Next, you need to analyze that risk. One way to do that is to determine the type of risk you’re dealing with as well as its impact on your organization. 


To be precise, you can use the famous qualitative and quantitative approaches. Here, the qualitative seeks to understand the impact on productivity while the quantitative aims to understand the financial implications of a data breach.

  • Develop controls


Your next step is to develop some controls for your prevention strategy. By this we mean you can predict cyberattacks and create a control system to prevent those attacks. This reduces the attack’s impact and helps you respond quickly, just like automating a response to the attack.


An example of this control is a firewall. A firewall rule-management system filters your incoming traffic and blocks suspicious or unwanted traffic from your system.

  • Back up data and set a recovery process


It’s time to back up your data. Certain data breaches are designed to delete information rather than steal it. Backing up data keeps that information safe and usually out of reach of cybercriminals.


You can try the 3-2-1 process for backup and restoration to safeguard your data. That means creating three backups on two different storage systems and keeping one off-site. 

  • Limit user access


Ever heard of the principle of least privilege? It refers to the notion that a user should be given only the privileges they need to complete a task. Think about it.


You don’t need to give a web designer full access to your system when their work only covers designing your website. Giving employees full access to your system is a grave security risk and can compromise your organization in the future.

  • Update security software


Most organizations purchase security software to guard their information, but the software ages. Antivirus developers create new patches to secure your system just as cybercriminals find new ways to intrude into your system.


However, you can’t get these patches without updating your software. That’s when intruders can find common vulnerabilities and exposures in your system. Simply update your antivirus software to block these entrances into your system.

  • Hire a pro


There are several factors to look at when it comes to data breach prevention. Honestly, it can be exhausting to make fixes and keep finding more problems in your security stack. 


More importantly, you need to focus your time on growing your business, not thinking about who’s coming through the back door. That’s why the most successful companies hire security professionals to get the job done.

iVenture is an end-to-end IT management service that helps businesses in Florida keep their system secure. If top-notch security and day-to-day support are what you want, your best bet is iVenture. But don’t just take our word for it. Get a free consultation today to help you make up your mind.

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