For business owners, cyber data security is a key issue, and it’s important to be aware of your vulnerabilities and take precautions before a breach occurs. Many times a company assumes they are immune from attack simply because they have not experienced it yet. This is a big mistake as there is no way to predict a future attack if you don’t understand what kinds of threats exist against your business security today.
How To Determine If Business Data is Compromised
You can determine your business data is compromised by noticing if files on your computer’s desktop have been moved around; if you notice an unknown or suspicious file in a folder where it doesn’t belong, then that may be a sign of data compromise. Other signs to look for could include:
- More than one administrator account has been created
- Your system clock is incorrect or moves backward
- Applications run slower than usual or start and stop without reason
- Unexplained messages appear when using the Internet, such as pop-up warnings and alerts for activity observed by your security software
You can also determine whether your business data has been compromised by checking the access rights to all shared folders and reports on who has accessed them. If there appears to be unauthorized user accounts with no good reason behind their presence, then this is a good indication that your business data is compromised.
Difference Between Security Breach and Data being Compromised
While a security breach and data compromise illustrate two different states, they are often mistaken for one another. When you think of a security breach, it becomes easier to recognize the difference between that and data being compromised.
A breach refers to compromised network security, and it occurs when outside sources gain access to your internal network and begin to take information such as credit card numbers or social security numbers without authorization; in short—when someone unauthorized gets access to your business computer system.
Data being compromised is slightly different in that an authorized user does have permission to view certain folders or files on your company’s system; however, these same files may be viewed by individuals who should not be able, resulting in loss of sensitive information.
Actions To Take When Data is Compromised
Once you have determined that your data has been compromised, the first thing to do is disconnect from the Internet and shut down all computers connected to the network. If your systems are affected by more than one type of malware, then it will be important to download as many antivirus tools as possible and update them before running a scan. In order to make sure as much of your critical information as possible can be recovered once you re-connect with the world again, you should also make several backup copies of everything immediately. These backups can either be on an external hard drive or even sent off-site via a cloud backup system.
Once your security software has been updated, then restart your computer and manually run a scan using the updated antivirus program. If you have not already done so before shutting down the network, look through all documents on your company’s computer system for anything that shouldn’t be there or appears out of place. Delete anything you find without opening it to avoid spreading any possible viruses.
Strategies to Increase Security Going Forward
While there is no such thing as 100% security and certain businesses and organizations will suffer the consequences of a cyber data security breach, there are ways to minimize the damage done. In order to increase business data security going forward, you should implement several strategies including:
- Keeping up with industry regulations for handling sensitive company information
- Limiting how much personal information employees have access to
- Utilizing anti-virus software on all computers in your network
- Regularly backing up important data in case of a breach or computer crash
- Implementing strong password policies
- Restricting employees from enabling personal web browsers on work computers
- Keeping up-to-date with new types of cyber attacks
- Regularly training employees to recognize them
Accepting responsibility for any collateral damage resulting from a data breach can help speed up the process when it comes time to notify consumers whose credit card numbers or social identity information might have been stolen. Even before a breach happens, practicing good cyber data security measures can help ensure that your business gets back on its feet as quickly as possible if the worst-case scenario should arise.
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