Data Breaches can make or break entire companies today, and it can affect every employee and customer that company has interacted with.  The data you collect from customers and employees can be a gold mine of information that cyber-criminals and hackers would love to get their hands on, so it should be treated with the protection that such an asset would demand.

If the data your company stores is compromised it can lead to a massive flow of problems, ranging from future trust issues with customers, to massive legal implications that can decimate any sized organization.  Even some of the largest companies in the United States, like CapitalOne, and Equifax, are dealing with issues stemming from the data breaches that affected them in 2019.

Here’s how you can prepare and defend against a data breach before it becomes a problem.

Know Where Your Weaknesses Are and Improve Your Strengths

Keeping active backups, applying all security updates, and maintaining an active firewall are the first lines of defense and the most basic first steps in preventing and recovering from a data breach in your organization. Maintaining active security and anti-virus software on your client computers, as well as on the servers your company maintains, should be considered a critical part in maintaining a robust data secure environment.  Security scans and threat detection are very effective at identifying and helping close vulnerabilities before they are exploited.

An active Managed Services Provider – like Natural Networks – can help you maintain critical system security metrics like Anti-Virus software, and actively monitor your systems to keep them up-to-date and free of malware.

Enforce Strong Passwords and Eliminate Weak Ones

Chief security strategist, Steve Moore, of Exabeam security software said that one of the most critical approaches to reducing the threat of a breach is understanding the threat of stolen or misused credentials.  Creating a strong password policy and enforcing it through proper and consistent training of your staff can help prevent data breaches at your office.  Make sure you are following simple rules such as not writing passwords down to be found, using a password manager such as LastPass, and ensuring that your employees do not share passwords.

More than 80% of breaches are a result of weak passwords.  You should understand that the passwords your company and employees should be looked at like personal keys to your company’s private data.  A Managed IT Services company, like Natural Networks, can help you create password policies that prevent employees from creating easy-to-guess passwords as well as update passwords that are considered weak.

Have A Plan-of-Action in Place for Data Breaches

Building an incident response plan to address data breaches can go a long way in, not only recovering from data breaches, but also preventing them from occurring in the first place.  Many companies do not bother to create or maintain an incident response plan, because they either 1. don’t think their data is sought after, or 2. they overlook that their IT infrastructure is exposed to threats.  All it takes is one incident to take the entire company down. Building an incident response plan is your insurance on crucial data.

Working with a Managed IT services team can help you identify potential threats and help you come up with a disaster recovery plan in case the need arises.  They can also help in establishing what software, services, and tools you should use to prevent and detect data breaches.

Knowing how to communicate details, who to involve (HR, legal, or other external figures, and IT security personal) and whether it makes sense to procure insurance coverage to help alleviate costs of a breach can also go a long way in helping you to recover from such incidences.  In fact, many insurance companies now require updated disaster recovery plans in place before they will insure your business because of how frequent and rampant cyber breaches have become.

By maintaining employee training, keeping your software and hardware updated, and using strong passwords, you can help keep your company, your employees, and most importantly, your data safe from hackers and other cybercriminals.  Using a professional Managed Services Provider, like Natural Networks, is a smart decision in saving you the expense of a data breach and help you stay on top of your IT needs.  If you’re interested in learning more about how Natural Networks can help you prevent data breaches, contact us today!