Why Is Data Security So Critical for Your Organization?
No matter how hard data security professionals and IT leaders work to help companies protect their crucial data, cyber-attackers are always right on the “good guy’s” tail. As you and your IT team try to protect your organization’s data each day for the upcoming year and beyond, you know that you are one of those “good guys,” fighting the good fight in data protection.
Your customers, members, employees, executives, vendors, any other company stakeholders count on your IT staff to keep all data away from intruding parties, safe and secure. It may seem disheartening when invaders are so determined to infiltrate computing systems, without caring about the ramifications for your stakeholders, but with vigilance, you can lead your IT team to solid data security in 2017.
The Data Breach Landscape in 2016
Data security solutions often rely on exploring the previous year’s data and resolutions. 2016 was a rough year for data security experts. Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reports that U.S. data breaches increased by 40 percent in 2016, reaching an all-time high number of 1,093 intrusions tracked.
CRN recently reported that the regularly targeted healthcare industry did not fare much better in 2016. By July 2016, the Centene Corporation announced that it had suffered a data breach that would affect up to 950,000 members. The at-risk data includes names, addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers of valued members. Identity Force goes on to describe February cyber-attacks at University of Central Florida, the U.S.Department of Justice, and the Internal Revenue Service. The troubling list goes on and on, detailing stories of invasion from major corporations, international aerospace companies, software firms, and many other organizations around the world.
Keeping Your Data Secure in 2017: What to Look Out For
Regardless of your sector, you will face data security challenges in 2017, if ITRC’s 2016 findings are any indication. Whether your organization’s industry is business, healthcare, education, government and military, or financial and banking, it is critical that your IT staff keeps watch. Each industry faces its own unique challenges in the fight against cyber-attackers and data breaching hackers, but you have plenty of effective options in this battle that does not seem to slow down with the flip of the calendar to a new year.
Start Your Information Security Efforts By Reviewing Problems and Issues
A quick review of data breaches, along with their causes, over the past few years may give you a head start in your data security efforts:
- Beware of Delayed Data Breach Reporting Helps No One. ZDNet cites “historical hacks” and delayed reporting as major culprits in the nearly 3,000 public data breaches in 2016 alone. Reuters reported on the massive 2014 Target data breach, noting that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s 2011 issuance of guidelines that companies must follow, often leaving disclosure out of the organization’s hands. It may help you to alert your own customers, investors, and other investors of such disclosure limitations before a breach happens.
- Monitor Emails to Avoid Phishing Expeditions. A perennial issue for professionals is email hacks. Email hackers are tricky and clever, so it is important to stay on guard when it comes to sitting down to click on what seems like a legitimante piece of electronic correspondence. Gmail account holders need to pay particular attention, thanks to a new phishing scheme that has nearly tricked the most savvy and long-time Gmail users.
- Batten Down the Cyber Hatches to Prepare for Extreme Weather and Power Grid Cyber-Attacks with a Disaster Recovery Plan. Bloomberg and the World Economic Forum report that one of the biggest global risks IT leaders and CIOs face in 2017 is extreme weather and any potential related fallout to an event like a hurricane, earthquake, or widspread power outage. Developing a strong information technology disaster recovery program (IT DRP), along with a business continuity plan, is essential to avoiding critical data loss if extreme weather occurs.
- Prepare for the Increasing Expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT). The blurring of the lines between personal and corporate data, toggled between personal and corporate devices, will continue to increase. This development will place new challenges on your IT team. The best way to protect your company’s files when you embark on the IoT journey is to develop and enforce stern policies on usage and the need to erase all data on-demand. The most important aspect of IoT adoption is that you can provide proof that any connected data has been removed and will not resurface.
- Move it Or Lose it: It May Be Time to Consider Data Migration. As cloud computing continues to earn its stripes by providing benefits that include software-as-a-service (SaaS), ample storage capacities, and a strong focus on providing tight security, more business owners migrate to the cloud all the time. With regular anti-virus updates, as well as a global team of IT professionals monitoring your data’s protection at all times, cloud computing may work perfectly for your business’s data protection needs. You may want to start exploring your cloud options to determine how such a large-scale might benefit your organization.