The cost of data breaches hit an all-time high of $9.8 million in 2023 in the U.S. alone. While financial loss is the major negative impact of a data breach, it’s not the only loss you incur in case of a breach. Data breaches can also cost organizations in terms of reputation, customer trust, and regulatory compliance.
As businesses increasingly rely on digital platforms and interconnected systems, the risk of encountering a data breach is higher than ever. Understanding and implementing robust measures to fortify your company’s defenses is crucial. Here are four top ways you can protect your company from data breaches.
Prevent Network Compromise
The best way to protect your company from data breaches is to seal the main data breach loophole: your private network. Hackers will always launch an attack mainly after they gain access to your private network, which can happen through internal network vulnerabilities or third-party vendor networks.
One of the ways you can prevent a network compromise is to employ identity security posture management (ISPM) best practices. The best ISPM implementations will address vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and your organization’s risk exposure level.
Train Employees on Cybersecurity Awareness
The success of any cybersecurity policy depends on how equipped and aware your employees are. It’s pointless investing in expensive cybersecurity policies only for an employee to be tricked into leaking the data to dangerous persons. Once you’ve identified your key protection policies, you must onboard your employees on these strategies so they know how to keep your data safe.
Cybercriminals can trick even the smartest of your employees if they’re not adequately trained on the new attack trends. Some common ways cybercriminals can trick your employees is through phishing, social media, and email attacks. So ensure you cover all the crucial attack aspects during your training sessions.
Continually Audit and Re-evaluate Processes
Continual audit and re-evaluation of data protection processes helps you establish where systems fail so you can re-adjust and improve. This is important because you barely find a process that protects your company against data breaches forever. Since your organization’s structure and infrastructure keep changing, the processes that worked a few months or years ago could be obsolete today.
To protect your company’s data, it’s best to set aside a fixed annual budget for revamping your data protection systems. This way, you can have your systems checked and revamped anytime there’s a need for an upgrade.
Minimize Access to Sensitive Data
Minimizing access to sensitive data is important because cybercriminals can still penetrate your networks, and this is where to stop them. You can implement multi-factor authentication (MFA), privileged access management (PAM), or both.
Multi-factor authentication requires additional user-identity confirmation steps to limit access to authorized persons. The best form of MFA you should consider is the biometric authentication method. It requires users to be physically present to verify their identity before granting access.
For further protection, you can add a privileged access management (PAM) system to monitor and secure users with the authority to access sensitive business resources. With this system in place, hackers won’t be able to progress past the fourth stage of a cyberattack pathway. It protects sensitive resources from unauthorized access through a four-pillar framework.
Protecting your company from data breaches isn’t easy to maneuver, but it’s worth investing in as it saves you from the risk of financial, reputational, and legal loss. You can always start with the affordable best practices that are most crucial to you at your level and advance as your business grows.