8 Common Mistakes with Data Security and How to Avoid Them

Last updated on April 4th, 2024 at 06:21 pm

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The global average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, and it takes an average of 199 days to identify a breach.

One day you arrived at work, and everything was chaotic; your company had just experienced the most painful data breach. On top of that, you risk losing all your customers since they can no longer trust you with their data. Data breaches are preventable, so what are the mistakes you might have made to be vulnerable?

This article will divulge eight common mistakes with data security and how to avoid them.

1. Failure to Have a Data Security Plan

Many companies make the mistake of not having a data security plan put in place to implement cyber security measures. The number of cyberattacks happening every day raises the alarm for companies to be intentional in protecting their data. A data security plan lays out the procedures and data handling protocols in the event a threat has been identified.

Be intentional in protecting your company’s data by bringing experts together and formulating a data security plan. This will help you identify key assets that require monitoring to prioritize available resources. The document also provides timelines on when to conduct tests for vulnerabilities.

2. Over Relying on Firewalls and Antivirus

Another mistake most companies make is over-relying on firewalls, anti-malware and antivirus software. This false narrative has been created by the manufacturers who want to market their products as the best to reap profits. Human errors contribute to most cyber-attacks, and even the best anti-malware software can’t save you from that.

There’s little work the firewalls and anti-malware software can do to protect your data. The bulk of the work is getting people to practice cyber security measures. The solution is to have regular training done on your employees to emphasize on cyber security measures.

3. Not Having a Patch Management Plan

There will be Software updates to solve bugs and seal vulnerabilities in the system. Most companies make the mistake of running outdated software tools, making them even more vulnerable to data breaches.

Having a patch management plan ensures that all your systems and software get updated on a regular basis. Patch management is a necessary procedure that businesses need to adhere to as required by the data regulatory body. It also helps in updating the software and system to perform new functionalities.

4. Weak Passwords

About 23 million account holders use “123456” as their password, which could be happening in your company without you knowing. Let’s not even add the number of people who use the same passwords across their personal and work accounts. Have you taken the time to educate your employees on the various good practices for passwords?

If not, that’s where you have made a mistake that you can regret ever committing. Here are some of the password practices you can foster for protecting business data;

● The password should have at least 8-12 characters

● The password should be a mixture of at least three characters, i.e., numbers, symbols, and upper cases.

● Use unique passwords for different accounts

● Don’t use dictionary words as your password

The list includes and isn’t limited to the various ways you can create strong passwords. If you use the above rules, you won’t be part of the statistics of companies hacked for using weak passwords.

5. Vague Knowledge of Encryptions

Due to the tech jargon involved, most executives lack knowledge of the several available encryption types. Encryption is valid if it has undergone testing and approval by security agencies and the government.

It might be difficult for you to know the difference between encrypted and unencrypted data. Have your data security team analyze the type of encryption users of your data have before you can trust them with it.

6. Failure to Educate Employees About Cyber Security

Have you taken the initiative to educate your employees on the various methods hackers use to launch their attacks? If that’s not the case, they stand to fall prey to phishing sites and spam emails. If one of your employees ends up clicking a spam email, you risk losing valuable data to hackers.

Make an initiative of educating your employees on cyber-attack methods on a regular basis. This is because the more holes get sealed, hackers come up with other creative ways to penetrate. That way, your employees will always be on the lookout for suspicious links when surfing the internet.

7. Neglecting Penetration Testing

Most companies make the mistake of not doing regular systems penetration tests to identify loopholes. This helps your business be on the lookout for vulnerable holes in your systems that hackers can use to penetrate. When you do penetration testing on a regular basis, you’ll end up having a lid tight system.

The different types of penetration tests include network services, applications, client-side, wireless, social engineering, and physical, and they are named, web application penetration testing, OWASP penetration testing, android penetration testing, and mobile application penetration testing.

8. Not Having a Hierarchy of Data Authorization Levels

Most companies fail to allocate different levels of data accessibility to employees. Not everyone in your company should access certain data. Formulate hierarchy levels where employees can access data depending on their level in the company.

This will help you know who is responsible in the event the organization suffers a cyberattack. That way, you’ll have a list of people with the authorization to a certain level of data information.

You can look for resources to learn more about data recovery such as https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-recover-data-from-failed-hard-drive.

Elevate Your Security by Avoiding These Common Mistakes With Data Security

Companies make a lot of mistakes with data security increasing their exposure to cyber-attacks. Avoid the above-listed common mistakes to ensure your business data is safe.

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