2015 saw some major security breaches unlike previous years. Ashley Madison, Adobe, Experian, CVS and even the IRS were among the numerous companies that lost user data to hackers. 2016 won’t be any different, and companies are now forced to identify risks and assign the right security budget and resources to protect user data. If you want to secure your user and customer information, here are some of the steps you must take.
Increase Security Budget
Security is often seen as an unnecessary cost, until the company suffers from a critical breach. Companies are finding that this disregard for essential security resources is an extremely costly mistake. Some would even argue that security budgets should be a priority in place of other IT priorities. Phishing, DDoS, social engineering and SQL injection are just a few common hacks that are easily used by hackers when security is poor.
Some industries are more at risk than others. Government entities are more at risk since hackers have become more political. “Hacktivists” breach security to have their voice heard, and warring nations commonly attack each other’s government agencies. Such is the case with a recent hack on Ukraine’s main power supply plant. It’s suggested that the attack came from Russian hacktivists and completely wiped power supply to over 80,000 Ukrainians.
Better Focus on Employee Risks
Fact: your biggest risk factor is your employees. Disgruntled employees, ones who fall for phishing attacks, and man-in-the-middle attacks are three reasons employees should always be a concern for IT administrators.
As insider threats increase, security administrators have increased their awareness programs. 93% of IT administrators said that human behavior was the biggest threat to their organization. Security awareness programs greatly reduce that risk. These programs increase budget requirements, but they help employees recognize the signs of a phishing attack or other suspicious behavior. They can even help other employees recognized malicious behavior from their counterparts.
BYOD Policies are a Necessity
BYOD (bring your own device) allows employees to bring their own laptops, tablets and smartphones to work and connect them to the internal network. This makes the network vulnerable to outside threats using the employee’s device as a vector.
If your company offers BYOD, you need a policy to control the way these devices are used on the network. Routers, antivirus, and added security on network activity are needed. Policies governing the way users can use their devices on the network are also necessary.
Move to the Cloud? Most Companies Say “No.”
Most companies are migrating data to the cloud, but they choose to keep servers and infrastructure internal. The cloud offers numerous benefits, but one thing that’s lost with the migration is an element of security.
Most companies are worried that they will lose visibility of management data, and they will be at the mercy of the cloud provider’s security team. This apprehension has decreased the cloud movement considerably. Most of these concerns stem from the numerous hacking events that have exposed billions of users’ data records.
With 2016 promising to have just as many cyber threats as 2015, it’s time that corporations take into account the expensive cost of data breaches. Find the right budget, assign security personnel to manage policies and resources, and provide employees with the necessary awareness programs to collaborate in security efforts.