And, even though this number appears to be decreased compared to the one of the previous quarter, businesses still remain under the risk of a data breach on a large scale.

That’s why in the present article we are going to discuss.

– What a data breach is,

– What the penalties for data breaches are, and

– 8 ways to effectively prevent data breaches.

So, let’s start off with a short term description.

What Is a Data Breach?

According to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a data breach refers to the unauthorised exposure of personal information related to an identified or identifiable individual.

Under the same framework, data breaches are divided into three categories:

– Confidentiality beaches, meaning the unauthorised disclosure or access to one’s data,

– Integrity breaches, meaning the unauthorised alteration of one’s data, and lastly

– Availability breaches, meaning the unauthorised loss or destruction of personal data.

When incidents of any kind of data breach occur, the companies that keep the infringed data are obligated to act immediately for the recovery of the data and the notification of the data supervisory authority of each state.

In case such an action is not taken, companies are faced with the fines that we are mentioning right below.

What Are the Penalties for Data Breaches?

Companies that fail to control the data breach occurred or to inform the supervisory authority are subject to fines up to 10.000.000 euros or 2% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, according to which one is higher.

However, if the data breach has to do with unauthorised or illegitimate use of data by the company itself, fines raise up to 20.000.000 euros or 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year, whichever is higher.

To avoid such penalties, it is of utmost importance for companies to build strong protective strategies against data infringements. For this reason, let’s see some methods on how to prevent data breaches at your business.

8 Ways to Effectively Prevent Data Breaches

Because there is a vast number of ways in which you can prevent data breaches from occurring at your company, we will be focusing on the most crucial ones – which are the following.

#1: Network monitoring

The computer network of your organisation is the system in which all company devices that may keep record of data are connected. This means that the infiltration of malicious actors to your network allows access to the data kept or transferred from one network device to another.

For this reason, it is necessary to monitor who enters the company network and block attempts of access that may seem suspicious. Softwares, like Ivanti Neurons for Discovery are able to visualise all data and files inside your network and detect unknown or new devices that are joining it.

#2: Password management

Another thing that should be safeguarded against cyberattackers are your company passwords.

It is important to track the access gained to your passwords by the users of your company, as well as the disclosure of your passwords amongst them.

Devolutions Password Hub and N-able Passportal help you manage the passwords, while guaranteeing their security through encryption.

In this way, unauthorised users will be blocked from accessing them and, thus, from accessing the devices or files in which data is stored.

#3: Data backup

As we mentioned, a data breach may also refer to the unauthorised alteration (integrity breach) or the loss or destruction (availability breach) of personal data.

Concerning these types of infringements, a data backup tool allows you to automatically store data on an external device or cloud, in order to be able to re-access them even when they are not available in the devices used.

For example, Cove Data Protection offers data backup solutions by using cloud storage and scanning your files and folders in order to restore any version or information lost.

#4: Vulnerability identification

At the same time, network vulnerabilities at your company create “open doors” for malicious attackers to crack into your devices or software and exploit the data kept in every possible way.

Concerning this issue, vulnerability scanners allow you to block these points of entrance and secure the data kept inside your company network. Tools, like Nessus Professional, are able to identify software, device or cloud vulnerabilities, while creating complete vulnerability reports to highlight their evolution or possible changes.

#5: Employee training

However, training your employees stands as an equally important protective method.

Special informational or educational sessions help employees understand the existing cyberthreats concerning your data and the severity of their consequences for your whole business structure. As a result, they become more aware of the potential “routes” of cyberattacks and the ways in which they can avoid triggering a data breach.

Simultaneously, it is useful to organise hands-on training seminars for all members of a company, in order for them to familiarise with the installed cybersecurity tools and, thus, to make effective use of them.

#6: Spam email detection

One of the most common ways one can unintentionally trigger a data breach is by opening a spam email.

More specifically, clicking to the links or files attached to a spam email initiates the installation procedure of a malicious software that can block you from the access you had to your data and allow the attacker to take full advantage of them.

GFI MailEssentials or other anti-spam softwares filter your incoming emails, in order to detect spams, while they usually include an additional cyberthreat scanner, so as to provide total security.

#7: Anti-malware tools

Simultaneously, it is no news that most of the data breaches are caused by the installation of malicious software to your network. And, what’s more worrying is that malware may run in the background of your computer without you even noticing any malfunction at your device or software.

For this reason, a company must deploy anti-malware tools which will detect the presence of malware after it has infiltrated the company network.

For example, Malwarebytes MDR offers 24/7 anti-malware protection by remediating threats as they are discovered and hunting unseen threats based on past indicators of compromise and suspicious activity observed on your devices.

#8: Proxy server installation

Lastly, a proxy server installed in your network may be used as a protective shield against internet threats.

A proxy server acts as an intermediate between the devices of your and the internet, allowing company users to hide their IP address while they maintain internet connection.

In this way, the IPs of your devices are more difficult to track and, as a result, possible cyberattackers cannot immediately use them in order to gain access to your network and the data kept inside of it.

Now Over to You

As a conclusion, building a strong security infrastructure that will help you prevent data breaches seems to be a long and difficult process.

That’s why Orthology provides a variety of IT services, ranging from the cybersecurity solutions design, installation and configuration of IT tools to the training of your employees.

Therefore, if you wish to learn more about the cybersecurity support we can provide, don’t hesitate to contact us to get the solution suited to your needs!