With data becoming the most valuable asset for many businesses, data breaches and various forms of cybersecurity threats targeting confidential and/or regulated data are now very important concerns for these businesses.
When an organization suffers from a data breach, it won’t only cause financial losses for the affected business but can result in long-term reputational damages with the majority of customers claiming that they’ll stop doing business with companies who have just been affected by a data breach, at least for a few months.
With that being said, the first and arguably most important step in improving your business’s security is to first understand the most common and dangerous security risks that could make a data breach more likely. Here are the top security risks your business should address, and how to prevent them.
1. Human Errors and The Risks of Social Engineering
Human errors remain the top cause of data breaches, making it a concerning business security risk for many organizations.
No matter how advanced your security infrastructure is, your business security is only as strong as the least cyber security-aware employee in your company.
It’s very important to educate employees about phishing, malware infections, and other social engineering attacks. Employees should understand not to share any confidential information and credentials over email or suspicious forms.
Security training should be made a part of new employee onboarding, and IT and security departments should stay aware of the latest trends to be on the lookout for targeted social engineering attacks. Regular refresher courses should be made mandatory for all employees to tackle new attack vectors and other trends.
2. Unprotected Personal Information
Businesses often store confidential data like personally identifiable information (PII) of both employees and customers: email addresses, personal contact information, date of birth, and so on.
Loss of this confidential personal information can be catastrophic and may lead not only to financial losses, but also reputational damages and potential legal issues. Applying data loss prevention (DLP) best practices is very important so your customers can stay confident that your business is indeed protecting the integrity and safety of consumer data.
3. Lack of Advanced Bot Management Solution
Most cybersecurity threats nowadays are performed with the help of malicious bots, and more than 30% of your site’s traffic would typically consist of malicious bots.
The thing is, these malicious bots are getting more sophisticated than ever, and advanced hackers are extremely fast in adopting the latest technologies, including AI technologies, to mask the bot’s identity. Today’s sophisticated hostile bots, for example, can rotate between hundreds of different IP addresses while impersonating human behaviors like nonlinear mouse movements.
Thus, differentiating between bot traffic and legitimate human users is already challenging, and we still need to consider the presence of goof bots, like Googlebot, that can be beneficial to our business. We’d want to filter out bad bots but not accidentally blocking good bots and legitimate users, which can be a challenge.
So, detecting and managing these bot activities are no longer that simple, and you’ll need the help of AI-driven bot management that can effectively detect the presence of bad bots, differentiate good bots from bad bots, and manage hostile bots accordingly on autopilot. Meaning, you can focus on your core business activities while DataDome will do its job in protecting your network.
4. Interconnected Devices as Vulnerabilities
There are now more than 10 billion actively connected IoT devices all over the world, a lot of them are not properly secured.
There are many IoT devices in businesses that don’t have endpoint controls and even don’t have appropriate security policies, and they can be major security vulnerabilities. If, for instance, a hacker gains access to one IoT device that is connected to your network, then this compromised device can be a potential gateway for the hacker to access your whole system.
With the number of these IoT devices, as well as other connected solutions (i.e. cloud software), it can be very difficult to perform the security measures consistently at a scale, which will translate into a bigger attack surface for hackers to exploit.
How the business can manage this complexity can be one of, if not the most important factor determining the success of business security. Implementing security best practices everywhere, all the time is simply a necessity.
5. Insider Threats
Don’t forget that cybersecurity threats can come from inside your company. Your own employees, partners, vendors, and any other parties with access to your corporate data and physical server are potential threats.
These people with internal access, for example, might leak confidential data they are authorized to access, whether deliberately (with malicious intent) or accidentally.
Thus, it’s very important to pay special attention to potential insider threats: implement a strong policy regarding data sharing, and ensure all parties only have access privileges that they absolutely need to perform their tasks. You might also want to provide access to important data on an as-needed basis.
6. Third-Party Risks
In today’s heavily interconnected digital world, many businesses are becoming more and more reliant on third-party partnerships. For example, many companies are now relying on cloud-based solutions like Dropbox, Adobe Creative Cloud, and even Gmail. Not all these cloud-based services are 100% secure, and your business’s data can be spread wider than you realize via these third-party partnerships.
With that being said, it’s very important for businesses to regularly review these third-party relationships, at the very least, once per year. If, for example, a partner is suddenly affected by a data breach, then you should take the necessary action.
7. Not Keeping Everything Up-To-Date
It’s a very crucial practice to keep everything in your system up-to-date: OS, software, web browsers, and so on must always be updated with the latest security updates. Also, it’s necessary to upgrade obsolete hardware that is no longer supported by the manufacturer.
Also, you should regularly update your security software like anti-malware protection, firewall, and other security solutions. They are frequently updated to respond to new cyber threats, and thus keeping them up-to-date is necessary if you really want to protect your system from various threats.
Ideally, you should update every software solution as soon as updates are made available. However, if it’s not possible, you should at least maintain a regular weekly schedule to perform updates.
You may be interested in: Social Media: Tools To Turbo-Charge Your Brand