Flint Tech’s Cybersecurity Awareness Series: Security Breaches

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Flint Tech’s Cybersecurity Awareness Series: Security Breaches

[image credit: VIN JD on Unsplash.com]

We’re so glad you’ve joined us for our month-long series on cybersecurity! Today we’re moving beyond the well-known threats to something a little more sinister: security breaches.

credit: theenemywithin on Tenor.com

As we wrote about before, security breaches include any attempt to gain unauthorized access to your system, also known as “hacking.” Cracking passwords, elevating privileges, and breaking into a server are all examples.

Hackers generally attack by means of assessing their target, using network or social-based attack methods, and extracting confidential data.

Security breaches can happen at any time, and when they involve the exposure of customer or client data, they are difficult to keep private. The loss of business that often results from a breach can be devastating for a small business.

Often, breaches are caused by the human errors of insiders, whether it’s clicking on a malicious e-mail or not keeping passwords secure enough (too weak, not changed often enough, etc.).

There are several types of processes that, if handled properly, could prevent a breach:

Weak Passwords: As stated earlier, overly simplistic passwords are prime targets for hackers. Making up something you can remember is no longer an option: the longer and more complex, the better.

Orphan Accounts: After an employee has left a company and moved on, their access to accounts is often left inactive rather than being terminated. If a malicious user were to gain access to an account via the unused credentials, nobody in the company would know unless appropriate controls were in place to monitor such activity.

Over-entitled Identities: Unregulated access to sensitive information and systems can create areas of weakness if not managed carefully. Executive and low-risk system and data users alike are equally valuable targets for hacking.

“Ok, so I just set reminders to change the passwords regularly,” you say. “Boom. Done. No extra money splashed out on a fancy Tech company I can’t afford. Next question…”

But hear us out: why burden yourself and your people with taking partially effective measures when a solid IT team can provide the kind of wide-ranging protection your company needs?

There are certainly things you can do yourself, like…

Establish better security habits: For instance, make it a policy to have strong passwords that get changed routinely. Establishing this habit alone will substantially cut down the risk–the longer it takes a hacker to get through, the more likely it is they’ll be caught.

But there are other things your people may not have the right kind of support or resources to accomplish, such as…

Solid Identity Protection: Allow your IT team (be they in-house or hired from outside) to have a holistic view of your systems and data so they can assess your risk and create a plan to detect attacks as quickly as possible.

If you haven’t developed a cybersecurity plan for your company or even budgeted for cybersecurity in the first place, there’s no time like the present to start. A few questions to ask yourself when considering your plan include:

  • What will it cost us if a breach occurs?
  • What controls/protections do we currently have in place?
  • What will we do if a breach takes place?
  • What can be done now to offer the best protection?

And of course, keep following our blog as we continue to discuss cyber crimes and solutions this month. Stay tuned!

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