December wasn’t a great month to be a Yahoo! account holder. The company announced it was the victim of the single largest data breach in history, as hackers stole information from more than one billion accounts.
Yahoo! is hardly alone in this regard. Over the last few years, many of the world’s most prominent firms have been the victim of major data breaches. Verizon, Target, Home Depot , are just a few among a long list. The end result is often millions in fines and settlement payouts, damaged credibility and the possibility of the loss of sensitive corporate information, proprietary and otherwise.
So how can you best protect your firm from similar intrusions? Here are four steps you can take to strengthen your protection.
Step #1: Emphasize Security Training
Building a phenomenal security system won’t help very much if users aren’t well-trained in basic security hygiene. A recent study showed that nearly half of all security breaches occur as a result of employees bypassing existing security protocols while surfing the Internet or emailing, for example. It is important that your company dedicates resources to ensuring these rules are adhered to in order to avoid catastrophic violations.
Step #2: Security Must Go Beyond the Workplace
Today, more work than ever is done remotely. Make sure employees know the importance of remote device log outs, the danger of public WiFi and other offsite security threats. Hackers are known for exploiting these access points.
Step #3: Frequently Update Security Policies and Procedures
The world of cybersecurity changes quickly, so companies that rely on policies and protocols that have been unchanged for years are more vulnerable. A more dynamic approach where policies are reviewed on a more frequent basis will lower the risk of an intrusion.
Step #4: Minimize Data
Too many companies collect enormous troves of data with no defined process for determining signal-to-noise ratio and disposing of data of no value. Companies should work to only collect data of true value, then have a plan to discard information once it is no longer useful.
The Next Step
Security breaches have reached epidemic levels and things are likely to get worse. This means it is critical that you take steps to protect your data to ensure the privacy of your organization and employees is preserved. You will have greater peace of mind by following these important steps.