The news of a data breach probably sends shivers down your spine if you’re a tech or SaaS founder.
Imagine a scenario where you lose all your brand reputation and credibility in a flash – that’s what a data breach can do to your business. Brutal damage.
Did you know?
Data breaches steal 69 data records every second.
You could be the next target in the list of potential hackers if you do not have a foolproof system to curb data breaches.
But with the right steps taken, you can drastically reduce or remove the chances of a data breach and keep your business safe.
This blog discusses how you can prepare for a data breach and roll up your sleeves to avoid it effectively to save your business and keep your data intact.
Let’s dive right in.
- What is a breach?
- How does a breach impact your business?
- Industry best practices to curb and handle a breach
- WC part
What is a data breach?
A data breach is a practice of stealing information from a system without the knowledge of the owner of the system administrator or the system owner (Sounds similar to stealing someone’s wallet, right?
Cybercriminals usually deploy a data breach to access your highly sensitive information and demand ransomware in exchange for the data. The stolen data could be anything – from credit card credentials to customer information. This scenario has more gravity since your entire business is at stake here.
The methods of a breach mostly involve malware or hacking attacks. Cybercriminals seek the weakest or most vulnerable part of your network and exploit it to initiate a breach.
How does a data breach impact your business?
In a privacy-driven world, a data breach means breaking the trust your customers have in your brand.
Apart from the financial losses worth millions of dollars, it tarnishes your reputation and brand value.
In short, rebuilding your business from the ground up after a data breach is almost impossible for small businesses.
Sometimes even your customers will be at the receiving end of a data breach and may suffer financial losses.
How to Avoid a Data Breach – Top 5 Industry Best Practices
There’s no point in regretting it after letting cyber attackers rampage your network. The saying prevention is better than cure applies to data breaches as well. Here are the top actionable industry best practices that you can deploy right away to prevent a data breach.
1. Create an IT security policy
Having a well-defined IT security policy in place will reduce the chances of a breach to a considerable extent. Many times, mishandling data can lead to vulnerability, which in turn helps cybercriminals hack into your system. An IT security policy outlines how your organization handles different kinds of information.
Creating an IT security policy ensures confidentiality and security of your data while helping with compliances, external auditing and interactions with third parties. Ensure that your policy complies with the laws in your country.
2. Regular risk assessments
A deserted house with no proper security is an easy target for burglary. Likewise, a poorly assessed system is prone to breaches. To keep the bad guys off your fence, you must run regular risk assessments and ensure your network has no room for vulnerabilities.
Risk assessments centre around three major elements:
- The list of IT assets in your organization and the damage they can cause in the event of a breach
- The processes depend on your IT assets to run your business
- The frequency, severity and possibility of a breach
Conducting regular risk assessments helps you understand the vulnerabilities and save money spent on security.
3. Earn an SSL certificate
Getting an SSL [Secure Socket Layer] certificate for your website is a big trust signal. It increases your website’s protection by confirming its identity and enables users to engage with you safely.
An SSL certification for your website increases the confidence of your users and protects sensitive information. This helps in building trust among your potential customers. Moreover, an SSL certificate is one of the primary factors that lets you accept payments through your website.
4. Monitor your cloud assets
As companies move to the cloud, storage and processing locations become more abstract and centralized. While this makes the cost of IT services easier to manage, it also creates new risks that need to be managed. To reduce the risks associated with misconfigured cloud resources, you should scan everything – from databases to workloads.
If you’re concerned about data breaches, whether you’re a business owner or an individual, deploying these best practices will help you mitigate the threat of a possible data breach. The extent of a data breach is usually unpredictable and the best way to curb it is by checking all the boxes in your data breach plan.
Another better option to shrug off your data breach blues is hiring cybersecurity experts and getting them to work for you. They will handle every aspect of cybersecurity while you can focus on the important decision pertaining to your business.