As a provider of bulk document scanning services, we consider data security as a top priority. As the world gets more and more connected, and the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more significant, consumers, businesses and their outsourcing partners need to take effective measures to protect important information. Databases constitute the backbone of an organization. If you look at the data security incidents around the world, you will find that all industries are affected by such incidents. This means that every organization must be focused on identifying and preventing such adverse incidents and have the right security measures in place to respond effectively if such an incident occurs.
Causes of Data Breaches
Data breaches continue to make big news and one of the latest trends is an increase in ransome malware that targets organizations like hospitals, police stations and universities. The 2nd annual Baker Hostetler Data Security Incident Response Report analyzed data from 300 incidents. In 2015, the sectors that were affected by cyber security threats were healthcare, financial services, retail and education. The study points out six main reasons for data security incidents:
- Phishing, hacking or malware
- Employee action or mistake
- External theft
- Outsourcing to unreliable vendors
- Internal theft
- Loss or improper disposal of data
Tips to Secure Data and Improve Data Security
- Keep backups: Keeping a backup of all critical data is useful at the time of any security hazard as it helps in restoring information. In order to limit damages, install end point protection software and keep the systems up to date with security fixes.
- Be vigilant: It is important to remain secure, vigilant and resilient about cyber security. Being resilient means being able to quickly address and recover from threats. Allocate budget and create awareness that will help in creating a culture of security whereby all management at all levels is aware of the potential risks and execute security.
- Approach an expert: There are many tweaks and hacks that can protect data and a great way to protect data is to partner with a firm that specializes in data security.
- Use web application firewall and real time backups: Use Web Application Firewall systems like CloudFlare or Sucuri that prevent data breaches and ensure safety of data.
- Encryption of data: All critical data should be encrypted and stored securely with limited access. This prevents data from falling into the wrong hands and eventual misuse.
- Change password every 90 days: Important documents should be secured with passwords. Make sure that the password used is changed every 90 days. This helps protection of sensitive data from internal intruders.
- Use mobile device management: Using MDM approach helps to manage and monitor devices from anywhere. This helps companies to inject data encryption from remote locations and also change it whenever needed.
- Constantly test: Constantly conduct tests to check the security structure in the organization and evaluate the internal and external security system.
Paper records were associated with 13% of the data security incidents in 2015 mentioned above. Paper record incidents were more common in the healthcare industry (25%). When addressing information management and incident response preparation, organizations must keep in mind the paper records they have and ways to secure the data contained therein. Paper documents can be digitized and maintained in the required format, and secured with the support of data conversion services that ensure confidentiality of data and help minimize cyber security risks.