Ignoring Data Security Leads to Downfall
The field of cyber security is huge and complex. Many managers feel so overwhelmed by its size that they fail to take the appropriate steps to prevent a breach. But it doesn’t have to be so intimidating. The most important thing to remember is that hackers never stop looking for ways to exploit you. As a result, you must never stop looking for ways to block them. Bear in mind that they are looking for targets where the same basic mistakes are being made over and over.
Failing To Secure
This most basic step is overlooked far too often. Many times, managers think that their business is just one target out of the millions of potential victims, so the odds are slim that anyone will ever try to hack into them. But they fail to look at it from the opposite perspective; there are millions of potential hackers out there, so the odds are slim that none of them will ever try to hack into your network.
This awareness is critical. Every firm and government must assume that they are in the crosshairs of the most resourceful and relentless cybercriminals in the world, and they must do everything they can to turn them back.
Failing To Update
Network security isn’t your cell phone. You can’t choose to ignore the constant stream of updates just because you’re happy with what you have. Many firms handle their network security systems as something that you set up in the beginning of the enterprise and never have to deal with again. But just as a website is less and less useful if it’s never updated, security systems also require regular updates to stay current.
Think of it like a cup of coffee. You don’t just pour it then never touch it again. You drink a little of it, then add some to it, then drink a little more. Security systems work for a while, then require a periodic refreshing to remain useful. Don’t neglect this step. Everything you’ve invested in starting a system is wasted if you never maintain it.
Failing To Monitor
Notifications from your security system are a critical signal of action needed. Security allows access for properly-credentialed users, but the longer you go without updating credential requirements, the better the chance that former employees or previously-successful hackers can execute actions you would not have authorized.
Passwords and other security measures are just as important as structural keys and alarm codes. When someone leaves your company–on good terms or bad–you collect keys and, more than likely, change security codes on doors and alarms. Do you do the same with computer access? Your employees can probably log in from off site, so do you make sure that those without access to the physical premises also lose their entry to electronic holdings?
And, of course, it’s good to change access credentials periodically. Hackers may be getting ever closer to finding their way in, so you must move the target every so often.
Failing To React
What good is a burglar alarm if you don’t call the police when it goes off? Physical alarms are notorious for false activations, whether it’s dust triggering a smoke detector or a falling wall chart setting off a motion detector.
False alarms aren’t so innocuous in network security. You will not receive a notification from your virus software, firewall, or other component if there isn’t a problem. You need to investigate thoroughly, and afterward consider an update to passwords and other credentials. Just as a credit card thief may attempt a small transaction to see if you’re watching activity, hackers may fire a shot across your electronic bow to check your vigilance. If you don’t react, it’s open season.
Failing To Learn
But perhaps the biggest mistake of all is failing to avoid the mistakes that get you in trouble. We can all plead complacency once something happens, but from that point on, we should all be smart enough to take the appropriate steps to avoid a second incident. If you’ve been victimized by a cyber criminal, at least do yourself the favor of setting out on the right path the next time. Just as they say about history, those who fail to learn from it are doomed to repeat it.
So be vigilant. Expect the worst, and prepare for it. If you properly secure your networks, watch them closely, and respond as needed, you’ll be well-positioned to fend off data loss.
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