An ever-increasing amount of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is being stored online. Global cloud security needs to be able to protect that data from malicious theft. Is your data really secured? In this article, you will be guided through measures that can be adopted to enhance security levels.
Data breaches on the rise
Every year the Breach Level Index reports how many data breaches have occured globally. In the first half of 2016 the Index reported a massive 554.5 million data breaches. This represented 78.4% of the 2015 total of 707.5 million. Intentional hacking accounted for more than half of that figure, with approximately 20% of breaches being internal leaks.
Massive cost of data breaches
Data breaches are financially damaging for everyone involved. In 2016 the Ponemon Institute produced a report on the cost of data breaches. According to the report, Cost of Data Breach Study, global analysis highlighted that the average cost of a single breach of PII was between $3.8 million and $4 million. And when that breach is exposed, the damage to a company’s reputation is immeasurable. This was the case with Fling.com, who holds the record for the highest number of data breaches and records stolen at the whopping figure of 40 million. Around the world, there is an average of 22 data breaches every second.
Can it be prevented?
There is a constant increase in the use of digital technology around the world. More people are using online banking, internet shopping sites and the storage of their personal information on their mobile devices and personal clouds. Forecast trends indicate that we can expect more cybercrime and attacks on PII in the coming year. Better security can help to prevent increases in data breaches.
Steps to improve security
There are measures that can be taken to help prevent data breaches. And if followed carefully, they could be more cost effective than having to pay for the price of every single breach. Companies like Virtual StrongBox have very strict and comprehensive security measures which ensure the protection of data. Here are some of the things they recommend to keep data secure:
- Data Protection: Ensuring your data protection system is top-of-the-range is a definite plus. By partnering with a company that can offer Enterprise IT-ready security, the potential for a breach is reduced.
- Data Transfer Restrictions: Information is vulnerable to attack when flash drives, cd-roms or email are being used for transfer of sensitive data. By restricting downloads and the transfer of information on insecure platforms the information is more secure. Use of a secure file-transfer application means your data is secure and encrypted, but is still easily accessible to customers.
- Protective Software: Use of strong antivirus software, adding firewalls and security applications can help secure your computers and mobile devices. Make sure all protective measures are updated regularly, including passwords, and test the security periodically for weaknesses.
- Security Policies: Make sure that access to the system you use is always secure. Restrict employees from using auto login for unsecure email accounts and websites. Require strong multi-character passwords using random characters and restrict the use of old passwords again. Password expiry periods are very useful as well.
- Fraud Prevention: Fraud is a major cause of data breach. And most emails are not safe. Continuous auto-reminders about malicious and suspicious emails to staff and customers are recommended. As is reminding staff and customers about giving sensitive passwords of other PII in pop-up windows. Employees should be well educated on fraud recognition and prevention. And, it will be beneficial to add another layer of security by requiring a log out for any secure sites used by staff.
Related articles published in Cardholders Data security :
- Secure Communication Prevents Eavesdroppers
- Merging technology and principles in fighting cybercrime
- Smart credit cards: The future of card security
- Safety netting against fraudulent online transactions