There are many ways to avoid data breaches and secure sensitive information. Strong passwords, monitoring network traffic, and identifying insider threats are a few tips to help you protect your company’s assets. Developing a breach preparedness plan is another useful way to protect your business.
Using strong passwords is one of the most important factors to avoid data breaches. These passwords should be long and contain several types of characters. They should also be complex, which makes them difficult for hackers to crack. Using a strong password when signing up for accounts on websites or services with sensitive information is vital. Using a weak password won’t protect you at all.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released guidelines for creating strong passwords. These guidelines recommend that passwords be at least 12 characters in length and contain a mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and special characters. These passwords should be different for different systems. Also, they should be unique to each account. Users should also avoid using common information like their favorite movie or food. For extra security, it’s also recommended to use two-factor authentication. Finally, if you’re ever notified of a data breach, change your passwords as soon as possible.
It’s important to use strong passwords for all of your online accounts. The average internet user has dozens of password-protected accounts. Unfortunately, weak passwords are easy to guess and can expose victims to identity theft and extortion. In many cases, compromised passwords give hackers access to a victim’s bank account.
Monitoring network traffic
Network administrators should be aware of network traffic patterns to prevent data breaches. If they notice abnormal patterns, it could mean a malware infection. Monitoring network traffic helps administrators keep track of connections, data transfer, and the total number of connections. They can also block malicious IP addresses. However, monitoring network traffic does not guarantee that data will not be compromised.
Network monitoring tools can analyze traffic in real-time, allowing network administrators to understand who is accessing their network, track WAN usage, and detect malware attacks. In addition to packet analysis, network monitoring solutions can also improve network performance, decrease attack surfaces, and improve resource management. However, the tools used for network traffic monitoring should be flexible enough to accommodate the type of data collected.
Network traffic analysis tools use algorithms, heuristics, and event-based triggers to monitor the network traffic of compromised systems. They also provide information about traffic between internal and external devices. This can include details about which systems were probed, which accounts were used, and which data sets were accessed. To accurately analyze network traffic, an organization must have a baseline to compare network activity with.
Identifying insider threats
One of the most effective ways to protect data and systems from insiders is to identify and prevent internal threats. These threats can take the form of disgruntled employees or unauthorized external users who attempt to gain access to sensitive information. More than half of all data breaches involve malicious insiders. However, some of these attacks are accidental.
Insider threats may also take the form of compromised agents. These employees may be recruited, bribed, or solicited by outside parties. Some of these individuals are under financial stress or may be conscientious objectors. These employees may also be disgruntled and want to bring down the organization from within by modifying and stealing information. The most common methods these individuals use are to gain access to data irrelevant to their job functions.
Companies should first conduct a thorough audit of their IT environment to identify insider threats. This audit will reveal trends and suspicious activities. For instance, if file download activity suddenly increases, the organization should receive an immediate alert. The audit should include file servers, SharePoint, Teams, and databases. If the IT environment is complex, companies should begin by testing one data source at a time and simulating malicious insider activity.
Developing a breach preparedness plan
Developing a breach preparedness plan can help businesses protect themselves and their data. This plan should cover how the company will notify employees, notify the media, and handle any legal issues that may arise.
A breach preparedness plan should include detection, analysis, containment, eradication, recovery, and post-incident assessment steps. This plan is necessary to avoid data breaches, maintain credibility, and prevent mistakes that may make the breach response process more cumbersome.
A breach preparedness plan should also consider the type of data your organization handles. Determine which assets are essential to your business processes. Also, determine whether any data is regulated. If so, consider adding additional tools and updates to the security architecture. Finally, consider providing additional training for security staff.