Data breach prevention: Don’t put your business at risk.
In the days of rolodexes, filing systems and accordion folders, one natural disaster could wipe out a company’s entire database – history demonstrates this with the fire at Alexandria that claimed many works of the ancient world. Thanks to progress in the digital age, most businesses have transferred their data to digital spaces, sparing them from Mother Nature’s whims.
As we evolve, new problems arise, and digital data isn’t entirely protected from thievery. Unfortunately, cyber criminals are hard at work, looking to steal and misuse data from companies around the world. ProTech’s Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Managed/Cloud Solutions, Chris Bradley, firmly believes that a proactive approach to data security is the only wise choice for businesses.
“It’s not so much a matter of if you will have a data breach, but when,” Bradley said. “Creating a proactive plan to prevent and mitigate loss saves companies time, money, grief and headache when they need to recover data after a breach.”
The best way to do this, according to Bradley, is using a layered approach to data security. According to a client’s budget, needs, Federal Regulation guidelines and size, ProTech creates a multi-tiered data loss prevention system to protect the company’s data.
While each client’s unique security stack may look different, we fight against malware and other cyber attacks using the following approaches.
Use technology to filter and identify potential threats.
The first layer involves using the most modern technology to prevent and detect potential threats. This includes creating firewalls, engaging with vendors who stay abreast of the most modern means of attack, ensuring security patches are regularly updated, and filtering for potential risks that come through. Each of these layers can be customized to meet a client’s unique needs and industry. Using these tools, companies can mitigate to the fullest extent possible the threats that that may come to bear on their IT assets.
Train your team to recognize attempted attacks and create processes to work against them.
A company’s greatest challenge in preventing data loss is, surprisingly, its employees. Technology can do a lot to keep malicious programs out of your system, but it cannot prevent people from opening the floodgates inadvertently. Unfortunately, 91% of malware comes through email phishing or through harmful links that employees open in emails. For this reason, it’s important to create a human firewall.
“Your employee can open one link in an email that appears credible, and they’ve just allowed a threat into your system,” Bradley said. “What’s challenging is once these bad actors are in, they can watch your company’s processes for months unrecognized before they decide how to attack.”
ProTech works with our managed clients to conduct security awareness training for employees at least twice a year. We also conduct managed phishing training, where we send simulated phishing emails to your team to determine what harmful links are commonly opened. Any user who opens a link to one of our fake phishing emails is immediately directed to a security training, reminding them of the dangers of email phishing attempts. In our client experience, after six months of active training, clicks through to potential phishing links from users drops below 5%.
We also develop protocols, like regularly scheduled password resets and the use of multi-factor authentication, to ensure that anyone who has access to your data doesn’t have access for long.
Develop a rapid data recovery strategy.
Part of a proactive approach to data security is creating a recovery plan – in fact, it is considered the foundation. Protecting your data means nothing if you don’t have a way to recover following a breach.
At ProTech, we take a very hands-on approach in the data recovery process. We ensure that our clients’ data is backed up at regular intervals throughout the day and stored as encrypted files. We store data in multiple secure locations across the country to prevent Library of Alexandria-style data loss, should one server be damaged because of a natural disaster.
This means that our clients stand to lose little to no progress when we go through the recovery process. Without a layered approach to security, a company stands to lose days, weeks or months of information. We also shorten our clients’ data recovery time significantly – an average of 15 minutes locally and 30 minutes on the cloud. This gives our clients peace of mind and trust that their data is secure.
“The time to build a layered stack is before you have a breach,” Bradley said. “When you consider the cost of data recovery in a crisis, proactive data security management is not out of the realm of possibility in terms of affordability.”
Ask yourself: Can I afford to lose my data without a plan? Connect with ProTech to learn about our layered security approach and how we can partner with your business to provide peace of mind.