Cybercrime is a significant threat to individuals and businesses in the digital era, yet many organizations are unaware of the risks they face today.
To remedy that, here is a rundown of the biggest problems posed to data security in the commercial sector and what can be done to tackle them.
Imperfect cloud implementation
Cloud computing can solve many traditional IT security issues for businesses of all sizes, but it is also not entirely immune to risks in its own right.
Complications can often come about because migration to the cloud from an on-premises solution is handled poorly, without an appreciation of the distinctions between these two environments. This will not only lead to poor platform performance, but also to unnecessary vulnerabilities that leave data exposed to exploitation. This guide on how to migrate your SQL server to Azure (a cloud-based platform) is a useful starting point.
Furthermore, monitoring cloud services to keep tabs on performance and also ensure that security issues are highlighted and fixed before they spiral out of control is essential.
Improper employee training
While systems themselves can be attacked and hacked directly, the sad truth is that the vast majority of breaches that occur are still down to mistakes made by humans.
The upshot of this is that employee training in data security matters should be taken very seriously by all businesses. This will help to plug gaps in knowledge, drum out bad habits and give workers at all levels of the business the ability to harness data resources effectively without putting the entire organization at risk.
It is worth noting that this is not just about people mislaying portable hardware that has sensitive data stored on it while they are out and about; it is also down to the rise of social engineering-led attacks. Cybercriminals can use nothing more than a phone call to convince employees to hand over data unwittingly, so raising awareness of such strategies through thorough training is advised.
Vulnerable third-party apps
It is not just internal systems and software that can be compromised to extract data, but also applications that are provided by third parties. This is a growing issue because of the proliferation of APIs that allow easy integration of different resources, yet multiply the potential points of weakness.
Because of this state of affairs, it pays to be vigilant with regards to the apps that are used by employees, ensuring that only those that are known to be secure are harnessed.
Easy exploitable smart devices
More and more devices are making use of internet connectivity to offer enhanced functionality and features. This is positive from the point of view of practicality and productivity but poses a security risk because of the way that the Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding.
There has already been a significant rise in the number of breaches executed by leveraging poorly secured IoT devices. This issue is magnified by the fact that many businesses are entirely incapable of working out exactly how many IoT access points exist on-site, let alone whether or not they are adequately protected from exploitation.
More is being done to persuade device manufacturers to prevent so-called ‘smart’ devices from being hacked, but it is also up to businesses to familiarise themselves with the risks that exist in the IoT arena. From wireless printers to wearable tech like smartwatches, each device with network access is a potential point of incursion for data thieves.
Disorganized approach to data access management
The chances are that if you run a business, lots of different people will have the ability to access sensitive data for which you are responsible. This not only includes employees, but also any external contractors and partners you might work with, as well as customers in some cases.
Unless you are proactive in your approach to managing and overseeing the way that data is accessed, you could find that you have no way of knowing who is using it and how it is being used, for good or ill.
Businesses have both a legal and moral responsibility to treat the data they are entrusted within a consistently secure way, and adequate access management is one of the first steps in this process.