Cyber Tricks and Treats from NXTsoft

Category: Data Security
Type: Blog

A cyber breach can be one of the scariest scenarios a company faces. Information can be stolen, data lost and the entire integrity of the organization compromised. In today’s world, networks are being breached far too often. Hackers are finding new ways to attack vulnerabilities and jeopardize valuable data. While Halloween may bring ghosts, zombies and other scary characters to life, the real threat to our company and personal information remains invisible and it is out there every day of the year. 

In honor of Halloween, NXTsoft asked our team of cybersecurity experts about some “tricks” associated with cyber breaches and asked them to provide a few “treats” on what companies can do to prevent and recover from a recent data breach.

 

What’s the worst thing that could happen to a business that experiences a breach?

Any business that experiences a breach has the potential to shut down entirely. All operations could stop, employees could be sent home, and the doors could shut altogether. The damages associated with the data breach itself are not usually the cause of this though. Instead, companies are forced to shut their doors primarily because of litigation against the company. A breach can expose the data of customers, patients, clients, partners and more. This is followed by lawsuits that many organizations can’t afford to pay. If an investigation shows that the company did not protect their data properly the penalties that follow can be crippling.

 

What’s the first thing a company should do in the aftermath of a breach?

The company should refer to their insurance policy. Their policy will provide them with the steps to take moving forward. Many policies will refer to an incident response service that will start the recovery process. If the company doesn’t have an insurance policy, an incident response service should be contacted immediately to control the damage as quick as possible. The worst course of action for any organization is to not take any action at all.

 

Is it possible to recover stolen data?

Backup files are the essential component that determines whether data can be recovered. A proper backup system that is tested regularly provides the best opportunity to retrieve stolen data. Without backup files, the data could be gone for good. The key to having a successful backup is regular testing, backing up the systems onsite and backing up the systems on a cloud solution.

 

What are the most common causes of a breach? 

The first and most likely cause of an information breach is the lack of employee cybersecurity education. Employees make mistakes when operating the network that can put the entire enterprise at risk. It is important for companies to prioritize cybersecurity education by implementing policies and procedures.

The second most likely cause is weakness within passwords. Many companies are too predictable when setting passwords. This leaves them vulnerable to brute force attacks. Companies also make the common mistake of replicating passwords across their entire network. This leaves them extremely vulnerable of an attacker gaining complete access. 

The final cause is companies failing to see the importance of multi-factor authentication. Adding two or more authentication factors provides an important extra layer of security and breach protection. If one device is compromised, two-factor can prevent a malicious entry.

 

In addition, what are some way to prevent and protect against cyber-attacks?

Ninety percent of all cyber-attacks occur due to human error. The first action companies should take to prevent cyber-attacks is to identify the employees that put the company at risk. A constructive way to do this is to run phishing simulations and record results. 

The next step is layering your security. This includes backing up data, access control, testing systems, scanning vulnerabilities, and implementing security policies.

Companies should consider is hiring a chief information security officer. This is a full-time officer that provides an organization with expert security knowledge and direction. A CISO develops security strategies that protect the company from every angle. While employing a full-time CISO is certainly worth the investment, it’s not an investment that every business can make. These organizations should consider a vCISO as an alternative. This solution is a more cost-efficient way to implement cyber specialists that can deliver strong cybersecurity solutions. In some cases, a vCISO can provide better alternative to hiring in-house because they see the company from an unbiased, outside perspective. A virtual CISO has the additional benefit of seeing security incidents across many mediums and platforms that help to strengthen their knowledgebase and operate proactively. 

Many companies have seen their nightmares become realities because of a cyber breach. Don’t let yours be next. Taking offensive action putting the proper solutions, personnel and education can help to protect your business. It takes an entire team effort to build strong data and information security.  When the hacker comes knocking at your company’s door, he’ll move onto the next one because there will be no “treats” for him there!

October 31, 2019
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