January 10, 2019

What Is a Security Breach? And How Can You Protect Your Data?

If you think you've been seeing security breaches in the headlines more often recently, you're not wrong. The number of breaches has spiked this year, pointing towards a trend that should be putting companies on high alert. 

But exactly what is a security breach? How can your organization be sure to protect itself from being the next headline? 

Find the answers to your questions in this guide. 

What Is A Security Breach? 

First, let's start off by defining just what a data breach is. 

The simplest way to describe it is unauthorized access to information. Someone from outside of your organization gets access to information they shouldn't have. 

That could be passwords, patient records, credit card information, or any other data that you have stored in your internal records. 

There are a variety of different ways this can happen. Sometimes it's a phishing email that someone clicked on accidentally, others it's a login attempt from an unsecured wireless network. 

It's not always as dramatic as movies make it seem, but the results can still be devastating for businesses. 

How To Protect Yourself

So how do you protect your organization from malicious data breaches? There are a few steps that you can take to either prevent data breaches from happening or reduce your liability. 

Encrypt Your Data

This might sound like being extra paranoid, but encrypting your data is one of the best security steps you can take. You'll thank yourself later for going the extra mile. 

Encryption gives you an extra layer of protection. Even if someone is able to get past your security and access your data, the encryption makes it far less likely that they'll be able to decode it. It'll be unreadable to the hacker, so it's worthless to them. 

Depending on what state you operate in, encryption can also protect you from liability claims. 

Back Up Everything

One popular hacking tactic is to use ransomware. Hackers will use this to effectively hold your data hostage, forcing you to pay a large fee to regain access. 

If you don't back up your data to multiple locations, you won't have any leverage in this situation. You'd be forced to pay the ransom to access your data once again. 

With multiple backups, however, you'll gain both peace of mind and stronger resistance to ransomware attacks. 

Use Multi-Factor Identity Authentication 

Sometimes, hacking attempts are as simple as guessing someone's password correctly. Then the hacker has access to all of that account's data and permissions. 

To prevent this from happening, you should use multi-factor identity authentication. This adds another step to the login process to make sure the right person is logging in. 

After you enter your credentials, you need to take an extra step to verify your identity. This could be a text message, an email, or a push notification, depending on the system you're using. 

Protect Yourself From Data Breaches

A password isn't enough anymore. Companies need to be proactive in their security efforts to make sure they don't fall victim to a hacking attempt. 

Now that you know the answer to the "What is a security breach?" question, start creating your cyber security plan. Request a demo of our eGuardian® platform to discover how sophisticated security can be.