5 Unique Times Your Business Data is At-Risk

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Technology has changed the way we do business. While the benefits are undeniable, technology also comes with its fair share of risks. The bottom line is not the only thing causing business owner sleepless nights. A data breach could bring a business to the ground in a matter of seconds. Here are five unique instances when your business is most vulnerable.

When Using Mobile Devices

Mobile device data security usually takes a backseat in most organizations. However, this security lapse can have devastating consequences for the business. Mobile devices brought in by staff members are typically used to share and access sensitive company data. These devices act as soft targets for hackers and scammers.

Apart from getting hacks, mobile devices get stolen quite often. According to a survey by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), one in ten Americans has been a phone theft victim. Even more worrying is that 44% of the theft cases were due to carelessness. As the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model continues to gain traction, it is time businesses stepped up their mobile device security protocols.

Ignorant and Careless Employees

Every successful business needs qualified personnel to succeed. Unfortunately, your employees are also the weakest link when it comes to data security. There are numerous ways your staff members can be manipulated into giving away company secrets without knowing. Some of the classics tricks include phishing, keylogging, cookies theft, and malware downloads. Firing every employee that gets compromised may not be the best solution. Instead, conduct rigorous research on how to deal with such threats.

Not all data breaches are due to ignorance or carelessness. Sometimes, disgruntled employees can knowingly leak sensitive information or expose your systems to attack. Unfortunately, inside attacks from rogue employees are much harder to anticipate. Limiting the number of admin accounts can help reduce the risks.

Poor Patch Management

Patch management refers to the process of making sure that all firmware is updated. As hackers continue to find new ways to breach, developers must continually improve to stop them. The set of updates is what is called a patch. All the major operating systems regularly provide updates to beef up security. Failure to update the latest patch leaves your systems wide open for an attack even with the best firewalls.

In addition to computers, other office devices such as printers and routers should also receive firmware updates. If you are using older hardware, then perhaps it is time you replaced them. To stay protected, put in place policies that ensure all your systems and devices are always up to date. 

When Dealing with Third Party Service Providers

To reduce operating costs, companies have to rely on third-party vendors to provide critical services. For instance, restaurants and hoteliers often outsource their Point of Sale systems. This practice is replicated across the board. The service provider has to access the clients’ systems remotely carry out maintenance for it to work.

Hackers can target these service vendors and use them to get to your business. One solution to this problem is to ensure that such service providers have stringent security systems. Remember to disable all remote access accounts as soon as your business with them is done. Alternatively, you can segment your network or set aside dedicated servers. This means only these networks will be compromised in case of an attack.

When Using Cloud-Based Tools

Cloud computing is probably the best thing to happen to the Information Technology sector. It has made it possible to accuse massive computing power without having to invest in the physical infrastructure. This reduces the cost of operation and provides room for growth. Despite the smashing success, cloud-based applications pose a serious security risk. According to the National Security Agency, the main culprits have shared tenancy, poor access control, and supply chain. You can mitigate these problems by switching to Virtual Data Rooms (VDR). This service allows you to have control over the access, copying, and printing rights of any document. Join the growing number of professionals using this service and reap the benefits.

Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to the potential data security breaches your business is exposed to every day. Ultimately, data security is a shared responsibility. Everyone from your employees to your business partners has to do their part. Keep a close eye on the vulnerabilities outlined. Prevention is always cheaper than cure.

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