As you read this, pause for a moment to consider: are there aspects of doing business that technology has not reshaped or transformed? In around two decades, technological advances have revolutionized various industries and markets, making it possible for companies to communicate with their customers more quickly and conveniently.
While many prefer to still see and talk to a “real, living human”, technology can break down barriers and bring customers to their door. Unfortunately, cybercrime is a growing barrier to business success, as online theft of private data can be unexpected as well as damaging to the customer-business relationship – sometimes even to the demise of companies before they become established.
Protecting your company’s digital neighborhood
Imagine this bag with private data, all codes, ones and zeros, as your digital address. It’s your neighborhood and someone comes into your neighborhood and ruins your business online like robber IRL – in real life. In 2014, the approximate memory size of the Internet was 10 ^ 24 bytes, or 1 million exabytes – think of a byte as an 8-bit unit of data, like a glass of water contains 8 ounces. That’s a single character in a word read online, and an exabyte is 1 billion bytes. Hungry for data, already?
Computing capacity doubles every three years, and in 2007 researchers found that cellular networks outpaced voice traffic. That was a big change for business, but aside from all of these amazing statistics, cybercrime poses an evolutionary threat to business survival and puts it in a unique position – stopping cybercrime in real time isn’t realistic right now, but business can fight it Cite data theft and even fend off the criminals with prevention methods. Take a look at these three vulnerabilities that are exposing your company.
1. Regular pen test to prevent hacking
“Welcome to the neighborhood!” Your customer portals indicate this, but your dedicated network environment is sometimes vulnerable to outside threats from criminals. You don’t want it to happen, but like any crime, it can strike anywhere, anytime. Your trusted network will no longer be trusted if customer data is compromised and business operations cannot continue due to infrastructure penetration.
Some of these network environment invasions occur as malware encryption, data beach, or denial-of-service (DOS) attacks. How strong are your defenses?
Use penetration tests to test the strength of network defenses. Professionals are certified with a code of ethics to ethically hack your network and see what they find – with the ability to provide videos and screenshots of every click and step of the break-in. Say as much as you like to the ethical hacker and leave out certain computer resources like web servers. Decide whether you want hackers to see what they can do to interrupt the service like a real hacker’s word, or whether you limit the limits of their investigation in various test steps.
Test regularly to prevent hacks. Run your passes in stages, including scheduled and randomized tests.
- The cloud: Providing easy access for everyone
Ever since the cloud hit the web scene, it has presented endless potential for inexhaustible computing for a price. It offers easy access for everyone, including hackers. Because of this, a large cloud is highly visible and vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Prevent attacks on cloud resources by contacting an IT professional and managing all remote access permissions from your environment to the cloud and vice versa. You may recommend using a virtual private network (VPN) that adds a private layer of protection before logging in to prevent attacks from your Wi-Fi connection. Make sure the team you work with is available 24/7 to stay up to date with any alerts – you need them to enable cloud property logging to have a monitoring path in case one Attack.
3. You may think you are compliant, but are you?
Aside from deliberate hacking and data theft, security failures occur. It is important to train employees about data protection legislation and to comply with regulations. You could face legal proceedings and ruin your business if you don’t. Education and action are the key to prevention.
A good practice and a legislative aspect is that those affected by the data breach must be notified first and that this does not involve high business risk, as per some guidelines. For example, according to the updated GDPR enforced by the European Union, failure to notify a data protection authority within 72 hours results in a loss of 4% of annual sales or € 20 million – whichever comes first. With Brexit coming into force, British citizens could be left unprotected.
Most similar laws regard private data as a type of information security good, but the issue of data rights continues to evolve as companies use this knowledge for marketing purposes, among other things. What data should the customer be able to provide you with for deletion? Do company rights go out of the window if this data is breached? Stay up to date with the legislation or face the consequences. Newer companies are recommended to work with external IT consultants to establish and maintain compliance.
Technological growth is inextricably linked to the development and success of the company. Your company must face the reputation for protecting private data while remaining compliant and ethical in day-to-day operations.
This is something that you cannot swap out and forget. Your company needs to be hands-on and vigilant when it comes to penetration testing and cloud authorization access management, among other things. If you ignore these vulnerabilities, you risk putting you and your customers at risk, and in the worst case scenario, more than just your reputation will be ruined – you will go under. Lead the battle to protect private data and thrive.