The risks of data breaches, phishing, and malware
Owning a business is definitely not an easy thing to do. It involves paying lots of attention, money and time into it, and not everyone can afford such thing. What’s even more important about businesses is related to customers. Most companies require personal information in different forms. Whether it is about making a payment online, authenticating on a website, signing a contract or proving their identity with the help of official documents, properly handling personal data can determine the company’s future. Lately, the rise of cyber threats made companies invest more in backing up and protecting their data. During the past few years, a lot of cyber terrorism happened, putting many businessmen in a difficult position. Cyber-attacks are usually directed towards large sources of information, especially sensitive personal data. Companies that operate with such data are at the highest risk of experiencing data breaches or being the victims of other types of cyber threats.
Wondering who is behind cyber-attacks? When hearing about data breaches, most people think about highly-skilled hackers. This is one of the many categories of cyber adversaries out there that could represent the end of a company. Cyber threats are everywhere, including the Government of a country. Numerous nations use information-gathering activists for political espionage. For companies, a dangerous threat is represented by insiders. Poorly trained employees can be the reason why a company loses its data by introducing malware into the system. Criminal groups can seek the information a business owns for financial purposes, while bot-network operators can compromise data through phishing. Reading a detailed description of each one can raise awareness of the topic and eventually help businesses handle their data better.
Since technology lately evolved, most businesses started to implement innovative computing into their systems. Even though many benefits are involved in this implementation, there are risks that worth taking into account as well. Exposing a business to such risks can have consequences that may lead to serious issues later on. A data breach is one of the risks that companies mention when asked about the way they store information. The number of data breaches begins to rise exponentially compared to 2012 when storing information in the cloud was still uncertain. Incidents are more and more numerous as technology reaches further advancements.
When a data breach occurs, private information is leaked without an authorization. Both smaller companies and multinational ones can suffer from such incident and it can have numerous causes. Popular breaching methods include:
· Portable device loss
· Insider disclosure
· Payment fraud
Not many people know what phishing means or how can it affect the data system of a business. Phishing represents a specific strategy used by cyber attackers with the sole purpose of revealing sensitive data. Phishing can be combined with installing malware on the networking devices of a company. There are different types of phishing that one should know about:
· Mass-scale – refers to attacks that are not clearly targeted
· Spear – refers to attacks that are clearly targeted towards a victim
· Whaling – refers to large-scale attacks (multinational companies)
How to recognize phishing?
Phishing can appear in a variety of forms that confuse people. An employee of a company can simply access a phony email that contains malicious files or spoofed links and the entire network can be compromised within seconds. The only solution is to start looking for details that make the difference between legit content and phishing. A person who requires sending sensitive information through voice calls can be a scammer, especially if the phone number is altered or unknown. Phishing can also cause a data breach through social media. Employees who use their social media accounts through the devices that belong to a company can be the victims of playing pretend replica accounts, bogus posts or even malicious links. Staying suspicious and taking all the necessary security measurements to avoid phishing is a must. Employees should be trained to be vigilant in the online environment and aware of cyber-attack risks.
Internet security breaches
Most companies do not take the right measurements to avoid or cope with cyber-attacks. Not being prepared for such incidents will lead to a longer recovery time, especially if no data backup is involved. Considering that some businesses work with their customers’ personal data (credit card accounts, ID etc.) the consequences are impossible to repair. Avoiding such situation from happening is the only safe way to avoid a security breach. Every company out there should secure all the devices involved in the activity of the employees by blocking potential threats. Hiring skilled workers is also a must, taking into consideration the fact that most data breaches are caused by internal factors. Advances authentication is also a must. A good example would be the implementation of biometrics authentication. Yet in case the breach still happens, each business should have a response plan, to shorten the time required to get back on track. That’s why businesses require constant data backups.
Immediately after a data breach happened, the only method to regain the customer’s trust and make the company functional again would be following these steps:
· Assessing the facts – how much information was lost, how the breach happened, is it repairable?
· Questioning everyone who’s in direct contact with the company – employees, customers, partners
· Repairing and restoring data – this step is conditioned by data backup; when the data backup is not present, repairing and restoring the breached system
· Opting for a service – services like MariaDB backup tool can help businesses handle data breaches easier, by patching systems and networks, educating and enforcing employees, implementing all the necessary security measurements and creating contingencies
Besides the physical data backup, it is highly important to train employees. Instead of being gullible, they should be skeptical and always careful. Choosing the right service for backing up data will minimize the risk of severe consequences after a data breach. It shouldn’t happen in the first place, but if it does, any company should know what to do next.