Diminishing Data Breaches Through Secure Communication

Date: 29 Oct 2018 Category : | Source: SaltDNA

You don’t need to be an IT or Cybersecurity Professional to know that it’s becoming increasingly labourious to protect your sensitive information against the ever-advancing skills of cybercriminals. The recent high profile data breaches from the likes of Instagram, Equifax and Verizon have done little to stem the flow of negative news stories on how major corporations are continually failing to protect their customers’ data.

Inevitably, consumers in today’s world have every right to be conscious of handing over their personal information to organisations, especially those who are operating in high-risk industries. According to the Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) by Verizon, the three most targeted breach industries were financial services sitting at 24%, public sector at 12% and healthcare at 15%.

The report reinforced the point that it isn’t just big corporations being hacked. In fact, 61% of the data breach victims in 2017 materialised in businesses with under 1,000 employees. This should serve as a harsh reminder that no organisation is let off due to their size.

In a consistently attacked world of Cybercrime, organisations must be constantly aware in protecting every single aspect of their digital environments. Maintaining secure communications is a key part of this whole process; as history has taught us, failing to carry this out can severely hurt an organisation’s reputation, compliance with business regulators and eventually, its bottom line. So what can organisations do in order to stay secure?

Email:

For most organisations today email is a main method of communication, therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise as one of the leakiest conduits of information. The majority of organisations spend time building defenses around their organisation, but they regularly fail to realise the risks that round the corner. According to research by IBM it suggests that up to 95% of all security incidents in 2016 involved an element of human error. These included weak passwords, falling for phishing schemes and misaddressed emails are prime examples of how your sensitive information can be taken in seconds due to carelessness or lack of education.

In order to ensure that your employees are consistently being aware of how to secure their email communications the employer should provide staff training. Regular training- such as being taught to recognise phishing attempts, malicious links and being encouraged to create two factor authentication on their password logins.

Fax:

The document transfer protocol that many organisations- those particularly in regulated industries like Healthcare, Law Firms, Oil and Gas and Financial Services still rely on every day. Faxing often isn’t secure due to the fact most businesses still use obsolete systems that very few IT departments give much thought to.

The traditional machines that are paper based can cause major vulnerabilities. A common example of this is paper documents left sitting in an office can create both a compliance and security risk. The ‘images’ stored on a fax machine represent the documents it has transmitted which also present a vulnerability as the machine hard drives are usually not secured.

The solution to this is upgrade any aging fax machines to a cloud secure fax platform. Cloud faxing will allow employees to both send and receive faxes using desktop email that makes use of security protocols for both storing and transmitting fax documents.

Text Messaging:

Sending texts is a quick and easy method of communication, but have you ever stopped to think is it secure?

Similarly to email and fax it is only as secure as the policies that surround it and those who use it. Businesses that allow text messaging must ensure that their policies govern the use of text messaging is to receive and send company related data. These policies should include the following steps:

Secure Communication starts with company-wide education. If you educate your employees about the risks posed when using common forms of communication, as well as provide them with a secure method of communications – organisations will spend less time fretting about data breaches and more time running their company.

It’s not about if a data breach will occur, but when. Companies around the globe and from a number of industries undergo these incidents every year with differing magnitudes and overall effect. Businesses can suffer from serious repercussions, including lessened revenue, trust and competitiveness if a hack is not located quickly and dealt with properly. To refrain from these side effects, enterprises must be transparent with their client base and be prepared to provide answers to essential customer questions. With frequent communication and the right breach assistance provider, businesses can preserve their reputation.

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