When was the last time you didn’t see data breach news in your news feed? Pretty long, isn’t it?
Admit it; we hear news regarding data breaches, and everyday businesses fall victim to a threat costing them losses worth millions of dollars.
What’s more worrisome is the fact that these cyber attacks not only settle at financial distress but also eventually tarnish brand image in the global markets.
But what about the security infrastructure? We know that every business in today’s modern digital world leverages the best in class security practices, and we’re not able to digest the fact that organizations still fall prey to these attacks.
So, what’s the most significant loophole or flaw that compromises security?
Well, the fact is that cybercriminals are continuously exploring new ways to bypass security mechanisms, and organizations with frail and outdated information security practices quickly become the victim.
Hence, organizations must update their overall security infrastructure and ensure they’re well-versed with the challenges pertaining to 2022 and beyond.
Here are some tips from LoginRadius’ Information Security Manager, Alok Patidar that would help you strengthen your organization’s security posture and would surely help prevent data breaches in 2023 and beyond.
Why Should Businesses Worry about Information Security in 2023?
Amid the global pandemic, when everyone was locked inside their homes, and remote working became the new normal, the number of data breaches across the globe soared exponentially.
As per IBM’s latest report, the average total cost of a data breach increased by nearly 10% year over year, the enormous single-year cost surge in the last seven years.
Apart from this, information security experts across the globe have already predicted that the number of cyberattacks, including ransomware and nation-state attacks, would continue to rise.
Hence, the key to overturning the data breach trend is to avoid the smallest events that could potentially develop into huge data breaches. Every loophole and data leak needs to be identified and remediated before attackers discover them.
Since now, we have adequate information regarding the importance of strengthening the security mechanism. Let’s look at some crucial tips that would help reinforce overall security.
#1. Evaluate third-party risks
The worst thing that can happen for an organization from an information security perspective is to leave a loophole at the vendor's end.
Yes, your vendors may not take cybersecurity as seriously as your organization does. This could lead to severe consequences that hamper brand image in the global marketplace.
It’s essential to evaluate the overall security posture of all of your third-party vendors to ensure they don’t pose a threat to your organization and your clients.
Moreover, a vendor risk assessment should also ensure that the vendors strictly adhere to the global data privacy and security compliance standards, including GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA.
#2. Strengthening endpoint security
Endpoint security is often ignored when it comes to implementing robust security practices across an organization.
An endpoint can be defined as the remote access point communicating with an organization’s network through end-users or smart devices.
Since businesses have adopted the paradigm shift in remote working models, endpoint security is often neglected. Also, various interconnected devices in the IoT landscape have increased the risk as endpoint security breaches become more common.
Besides incorporating firewalls and VPNs, organizations must train their staff members to quickly recognize any phishing email or social engineering attack for maximum safety.
#3. Use tougher security questions
Security questions prevent imposters from infiltrating the verification process. So what does a good security question look like?
The best ones will make it easy for legitimate users to authenticate themselves. They should be:
- Safe: Hackers shouldn’t be able to guess or research it.
- Stable: The answer shouldn’t change over time.
- Memorable: The user should be able to remember it.
- Simple: The password should be precise, easy, and consistent.
- Many: The password should have many possible answers.
#4. Move beyond multi-factor authentication (MFA) - Incorporate risk-based authentication (RBA)
Multi-Factor authentication creates a longer authentication process for the consumers, which causes lower consumer conversation at your application.
Risk-based authentication only triggers an elevated-risk situation while keeping the frictionless authentication process in place for everyday conditions.
You can configure actions based on the severity of the risk factors like if the consumer logs normally into your system from Vancouver and makes an authentication request to access the application from Cancun, this is an elevated-risk situation, and you might want to block the account instead of sending the notification to the consumer.
#5. Create data backups
A data backup solution is one of the best measures to keep personal and business data secure from a ransomware attack.
Ransomware is malicious software that an employee accidentally deploys by clicking on a malicious link. And when deployed, all data on the site/system is taken hostage.
You can ensure the protection of your data by implementing continuous backups. In case your system is hacked, you can restore your data. You can use the cloud to create a copy of your data on a server and host it in a remote location.
#6. Identify sensitive data, classify it, and incorporate data usage policy
You need to know what types of data you have to protect them effectively. For starters, let your security team scan your data repositories and prepare reports on the findings. Later, they can organize the data into categories based on their value to your organization.
The classification can be updated as data is created, changed, processed, or transmitted. It would help if you also came up with policies to prevent users from falsifying the degree of classification.
Only privileged users should, for instance, be allowed to upgrade or downgrade the data classification.
Of course, data classification on its own is not adequate; you need to develop a policy that defines the types of access, the classification-based criteria for data access, who has access to data, what constitutes proper data use, and so on.
Restrict user access to certain areas and deactivate when they finish the job.
#7. Offer anti-phishing training
A recent report from Statista revealed that during the first quarter of 2021, 24.9% of phishing attacks worldwide were directed towards financial institutions, followed by social media.
Hackers can gain access to securing information by stealing the employee's login credentials or by using social engineering techniques like fake websites, phishing, and duplicate social media
Offering anti-phishing training can prevent employees from falling victim to these scams without compromising your company's sensitive data.
Organizations embarking on a digital transformation journey and offering remote access to their employees shouldn’t compromise their security as it may lead to financial losses and even stain their brand image.
Every business needs to think more carefully regarding the overall security mechanism to ensure total security even in challenging and risky situations.
Using the best industry practices and strictly following the tips mentioned earlier will help enterprises secure their operations, protecting sensitive data.