San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Preserving the security and integrity of private data

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

As technology progresses and becomes more and more important for daily life, businesses have been at the forefront of looking for ways to integrate new tech into their procedures in order to increase transparency, streamline tasks and create a safer and more efficient environment for both customers and employees. Preserving data has become an indispensable factor in having a solid business that thrives. Data breaches are particularly destructive events that impact both the companies and the clients. 

But is there any way to prevent one, and what can you do when you’re targeted by such an event? 

Assess the issues 

The first and most important thing is to determine if there are any problems within your business that can make you a potential victim of unscrupulous hackers. Conducting an audit can be very helpful for situations such as this, as you can thoroughly assess how robust your data security policy is. In the aftermath, you can go further to establish what you can do to improve cybersecurity performance and deliver a safer experience. 

Some of the procedures you should have in mind during this stage are: 

  • Full-scope assessments or risks and liabilities 
  • Identifying the possibility of any in-house risks for the data 
  • Comparing your current approaches to the newer technologies and standards to see how you measure up and which areas must be improved 
  • Discussing any shortcomings that could intervene on the part of your business partners 

Create a backup plan 

While many businesses want to believe that they cannot be affected by a data breach, the numbers are worrying. During the first quarter of 2023, over six million records were exposed because of data breaches. For this reason, it’s more important to have a backup plan rather than pure confidence that this won’t happen to your company. 

Having a backup plan doesn’t just allow you to continue the business processes throughout the attempt to confine and solve the data breach. It will also support your recovery plan and reduce the fallout of the event. Having frequent data backups can ensure that the damage is contained and that private data isn’t lost or altered. Make sure to regularly test the backups as well to be certain that everything is in order. 

Tests allow you to see precisely how well the system would do in the event of an actual breach and how long it would take for it to restore data to its original form. If your data was lost or tampered with because of someone else’s negligence, you should get in touch with a specialised attorney. While data breaches don’t typically cause any physical damage, the mental strain can be severe. Infringement events often result in financial losses or identity theft, which require extensive legal procedures to remedy. The compensation can cover the costs of the problems you sustained. 

For instance, in the case of severe psychiatric damage, the victim can expect as much as £115,730 in compensation. Severe anxiety disorder can get you as much as £100,670 to make up for the impediments to your daily routine, including the inability to work. 

Company culture 

Making data security part of your company culture is the best way to guarantee that all employees keep it in mind. Often, breaches aren’t caused by hackers or cyber criminals but are instead the direct result of inadequate training among employees. That’s why you must establish the rules and expectations you have from clients and employees as well. For instance, you should provide clear instructions on the prohibition of the distribution of any sensitive information through unsecured channels or email. 

Make sure that all files are encrypted and use a cloud service that is fully secure. Using strong passwords and changing them regularly is also crucial. Provide ample information on what malware or phishing looks like and what employees should do in case they see anything resembling such an attack. Anyone connected to digital infrastructure, including the Internet of Things or workstations, must apply all the regular upgrades and patches. 

Physical security 

Although cybercriminals operate in the digital sphere, they can also use brute force to access documents, systems or databases. It’s easy to forget about the more tangible aspects of data security. Computers, laptops and all other devices used by team personnel should not be accessible to anyone else. Data breaches aren’t always the result of malicious intent but can also appear as a result of honest mistakes. 

All the individuals who have access to your business databases should have adequate training to know how to manage and operate these systems safely and without the risk of causing any errors. It can help if not everyone in your company has access to this data, but only those who work with it directly. This way, there’s a reduced chance of a breach occurring at some point. 

Fight fire with fire 

When technology is used in order to support criminal activity, you should know that your best bet in solving the problem is to use technology as well. Machine learning has become increasingly important when it comes to solving data breaches. The sheer volume of infringement events means that companies cannot deal with the infringements manually and instead resort to help from tech to solve the problem. 

It’s also about the scale. Large corporations can discover that, during a data breach event, the private information of millions, if not tens of hundreds of millions of customers, can be affected. There’s no way in which employees could solve something of such massive proportions on their own. Adaptive behaviour modelling is used for this purpose as well and was explicitly designed to respond to this type of threat. 

Although technology has dramatically improved the business landscape, it has also caused considerable trouble by facilitating access to information for hackers looking to get their hands on private records they could use for their own means. However, businesses are now better equipped to face these challenges, solve the problems, and find ways to protect both themselves and their customers. 

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