Why is Awareness of Data Security Important?
Data security refers to the preservation of integrity and secrecy when information is stored and transmitted. A data breach can happen to a company of any size, but is more common at smaller companies with less security and fewer resources dedicated to cybersecurity, making them an easier target for hackers. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, organizations “should assume that malicious parties will gain control of telework client devices and attempt to recover sensitive data from them or leverage the devices to gain access to the enterprise network.” To minimize the risk of network intrusion and growing digital threats, a solid cybersecurity strategy and awareness plan can help protect businesses, their customers and the data of all parties.
What are the Principles of Data Security?
To help inform others about data security, the CIA has created an information security model known as the CIA triad and is made up of three main components:
- Confidentiality Confidential data is only available to authorized parties and is often associated with the use of encryptions. This data is not disclosed to people who do not require it or those who should not have access to it. A breach of confidentiality can take place through a variety of means such as hacking and social engineering.
- Integrity is the certainty that the data has not been tampered with and has not been subject to unauthorized modifications during or after submission. Integrity can be compromised during two points of the transmission process: during the uploading of the data or during the storage within the database.
- Availability Is information available to authorized users when needed? Systems that are deemed as critical, such as medical and power, often have strict requirements, but generally, to demonstrate availability a system must have properly functioning computing systems, security controls, and communication channels.
What Are Some Potential Scams that your Employees may be Vulnerable to?
Cyberattacks and hackers attempt to expose, destroy, or access your data through a variety of scams, but the following data security breaches are some of the most common.
- Malware: These come in the form of a virus, trojan horse, or worm, and are created to act against the intent of the user. According to experts, at the end of 2021, 37% of all malware downloads came from malicious Office documents. Beware of attachments that may not be genuine.
- Phishing: A tactic scammers use by sending fraudulent emails or text messages that look like they come from a reputable source like your bank or credit card company. These scams often request for the user to click a link or open an attachment so they can steal sensitive data.
Cybercriminals may take advantage of world events, like the war in Ukraine to take advantage of your sympathies. To stay safe, avoid making donations to unknown entities, and be wary of social media usernames that consist of random letters and numbers, which could mean bots rather than legitimate users.
- Man-in-the-Middle Attack: This attack is more difficult to detect and can occur when a scammer secretly intercepts the communication between two parties to steal login information or account details. These typically happen in areas with free WiFi hotspots.
Another tactic used by cybercriminals is malicious QR codes. Legitimate QR codes are used to access restaurant menus, discount codes, and to make payments. But because QR codes are easy to generate, cybercriminals can easily create fake codes to intercept data. Be wary of QR codes without labels and don’t share payment information or personal details via QR codes – navigate directly to a secure website instead.
How Can a Small Business Protect Data Security?
No matter how a company uses technology, data security should be a part of the plan. When information is stolen from a business, it can lead to identity theft or credit card theft. Victims of this kind of attack may be hesitant to purchase from this business again in the future. To keep the trust of consumers, a small business can begin to protect against information theft through the following ways:
- Protect Your Physical Workspace: Control access and prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your business devices. Laptops are particularly vulnerable to theft or can be lost so it is important to lock them when unattended.
- Only Use Secure Devices: Small businesses are often advised to run a “clean machine.” To achieve this, employees should download up-to-date software, web browsers, and operating systems to stop viruses and malware. Additionally, strong passwords should be kept on all devices and data encryption can be used to prevent others from stealing information.
- Train and Educate Employees: According to Cyber Security Intelligence, 90% of breaches are caused by human error. By training and educating employees, companies equip the first line of defense against network intrusions and help protect customer data and other valuable business information. Some areas to prioritize include setting strong passwords, learning the latest schemes, and security best practices.
- Confidentiality: Confidentiality should be of high importance when protecting data. Companies can teach employees the rationale behind VPN’s, multi-factor authentication, and the dangers of using universal passwords to help avoid future data security breaches.
At Anserve, Your Data Security is Important
Our goal is to insulate businesses and their clients from digital threats and with data security as a top priority, we have taken extra measures to ensure your data is safe with us. In addition to training our employees to protect data, we also have the ability to send encrypted messages. For additional security, we have a colocation that is temperature controlled with auxiliary power, supercharged bandwidth, and physical security.