There was a time when your most precious possession was your phone and address book. These contained every vital information you needed. However, with time as technology began to expand, the world moved from books toward smart devices. Now we are standing at a point where every pivotal data we need is one password away. While this is convenient, it is also risky. Going digital makes you vulnerable to all forms of attacks.
Cybercriminals hack access to your data for their malicious purposes. On an individual and organizational level, this can be damaging. About 30% of organizations in the UK say they have lost consumers after a data breach.
If you’re not careful, your social security number, account details, and confidential identity files can get stolen, which are far too difficult to recover. So, try to play it safe and always protect your files and folders. You can put specific security measures to ensure that your data is always safe. Here are some worth your time:
Always go the extra mile with access systems
Anyone can steal your data through a software breach or a third party accessing your hardware. This means your data needs protection both offline and online. On an organizational level, your smart devices, such as laptops, mobile phones, and desktops, should be behind an adequate access control system that allows no one to enter but yourself. These can be card-locked doors, keypads requiring fingerprints, or locked with a unique key on your phone.
Similarly, your smart devices should have two-factor authentication, use your fingerprints or have a highly unpredictable password. The access control system also has an entire monitoring unit. So even if you allow a coworker or another user to enter your database, you can keep tabs on their activity and restrict the information they can see. This is much better than using a conventional lock and key and a weak password. Specific access control systems also offer you 24-hour surveillance and remote monitoring. If you don’t protect your data, you expose yourself to potential data theft.
Use an HTTP proxy server
A proxy server is a bridge between you and the internet. It’s a central server that connects you to any website. So if you type in a website, you’re requesting the database to let you pass through. Before you get authenticated, the proxy server will examine your online request, ensure a firewall is in place, and expect your request to get rejected if a fraudulent user tries to penetrate.
You must also have a proxy server protecting your database and consumer data. An HTTP proxy server can help you there. When a client enters data like their social security number, identity, card details, or personal information, the proxy server encrypts data, prevents the client from freely browsing through your database, and keeps logs of everyone accessing your website. This helps you narrow down any suspicious activity.
Backing up your data helps you designate more than one safe spot for your confidential information. Previously, hard drives were popular in facilitating the backup process. But they also posed an additional security risk since anyone can steal the hardware, you could lose it, or the file may be stored improperly and become unretrievable. However, with the emergence of cloud servers, you no longer need to worry about locking away your hard drive.
Cloud servers are digital spaces. These can store your data online and can get accessed from any device. But this access is not freely granted. It would help if you had the correct username, password, and two-factor authentication before you could use the data. Backing up also follows a schedule. You can try a full backup which involves backing up the entire system every day at fixed intervals.
While it is the best way to keep your data safe, the process is time-consuming and delays your deadlines. Differential backup involves doing a full back-in and then running additional backups on any changes. So if you modified a file, you only need to add that to your storage. Incremental backup works with backup files that have recently gone through a change and will get added to the incremental load. Therefore, it modifies the modifications made to the backup and stores them. If you wish to pick out the right strategy for yourself, the size of your organization and the data you work with will determine the storage.
Perform vulnerability tests and penetration exams
You may be vigilant about updating your software, backing up, and installing firewalls. Even so, you can still fall victim to a threat. You may have an underlying loophole or an opening in your security detail. Cybercriminals only need a vantage point. Unless the weaknesses looming in your software gets resolved, protecting your data is not possible.
Your security detail is like navigating a ship in between icebergs. While the top makes them seem small and harmless, under the surface is a much larger ice body that can destroy your boat. But, if you test the waters before steering your ship, you will sail safely. Vulnerability testing is the same. Every security architecture you have deployed gets tested by scanning. These port scanners check on your patch security and software updates and ensure that all the endpoints of your software are secure.
On the other hand, penetration tests work by stimulating attacks to check the responsiveness and effectiveness of your firewall and antivirus systems. Weaknesses and openings get identified and reported. This entails you may need a better firewall, your system is getting older, or your antivirus is not as effective for the data you handle. You should try performing these tests at least biweekly or once a month. Criminals are always on the lookout for businesses and people with outdated security systems—your hesitancy to upgrade edges you into a dangerous position.
Monitor login attempts
When another user tries to access your database, it should continuously get monitored. As a business, employees are allowed a certain number of attempts to try and enter their system. You should convey this to them as transparently as possible so that when they’re entering confidential digits, they make no mistake. From an administrative perspective, you should enable a monitoring system. If there are three consecutive failed attempts, the system must transfer the employee’s identity to security for further inspection.
On a personal level, always keep your smart device’s security switched on. Specific applications allow you to enable your camera. After several failed attempts, the camera can capture the culprit. This helps you track who’s trying to sneak past the security measures.
Data falling into the wrong hands is a recipe for disaster. Recovering stolen data is expensive, elaborate, and far too involved in the criminal enterprise to get redeemed. This is not a position anyone wants to be in, so it’s best to have reasonable security measures. Start by having a proper access system that helps you maintain control over your smart devices and software. Never allow any third-party user to enter your database system without a proxy server granting permission.
You should also try to back up as often as possible and scan for system security weaknesses to take immediate measures. The final step to your methodology is ensuring that you’re well aware of who’s trying to get into your server. Since cybercrime is a recognizable penalty, you can get the law involved.