Welcome to the digital era where everyone is connected and sharing information online courtesy of the Internet. However, there is a dark side to it, and that is cyber data breach, or simply cyber breach.
This article presents different ways to prevent cyber attacks, thus guaranteeing the protection and security of your clients’ information.
The Internet is open to everyone, including hackers and cybercriminals responsible for breaches of cyber security. There were around 36 billion information security breaches during the first half of 2020. Not only that, but cybersecurity is a major concern in decentralized networks such as 5G.
Recent Data Breaches Statistics
According to IBM reports, it takes around 207 days on average to discover a company data breach. Not to mention the financial damage that a business can’t afford to pay.
The annual cost of cyber attacks is estimated to reach six trillion dollars, by 2021, with an average cost of a single data breach being $3.86 million.
Moreover, online hacking is responsible for 45 percent of the reported data breaches, while 94 percent of malware is usually broadcasted via email.
Types of Cybersecurity Data Breaches
Before discussing the cyber attack prevention techniques, let’s briefly understand the types of common cyberattacks. Online hackers and cybercriminals use the following seven types of cyberattacks to access your online data:
- Malware attack – The hacker sends a suspicious link via email that installs destructive software on your computer when you click it. This way, it blocks access to the network components.
- Phishing attack – Comprises an email impersonating a renowned company to steal confidential information, such as login credentials and credit card information.
- Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack – The hacker tries to steal information by infiltrating a two-party communication.
- Denial-of-Service attack – Is a way of clogging the network bandwidth by flooding the servers with traffic, thus choking the entire system.
- SQL injection – The hacker inserts a malicious SQL code into the server to steal clients’ confidential data.
- Zero-day exploit attack – Targets those companies who don’t have enough security protocols in place.
- DNS tunneling – The hacker sends HTTP traffic over the DNS, thus masking the outbound traffic as DNS to obtain information from a compromised network.
Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks
Read along to learn about different techniques to prevent information security breaches.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
MFA is an affordable and straightforward system that allows organizations to ensure protection for all kinds of passwords. In simpler words, the employees can use multiple ways to verify the password, such as passcode messages and verification calls on the registered contact number.
Furthermore, the MFA system ensures the identification of all the users before accessing the systems and other databases. The two-way authentication requires two identifiers or layers, allowing the employees to prove their identity.
Lastly, the MFA system ensures that individuals change the passwords quarterly or monthly with strict password creation criteria such as the combination of capital letters and numerics. Again, it’s because hackers usually target users who keep simple and same passwords through the years.
Training the Team
The employees are undoubtedly the weakest link in the data information security network. According to a Data Risk report, a single employee has read or write access rights to 11 million files, while all the company employees can access around 17 percent of the sensitive company information files.
It’s essential to train the employees not to open suspicious emails from unknown senders as it may lead to the installation of an unwanted virus.
Moreover, companies should conduct different awareness sessions with the employees regarding the emerging cybersecurity threats. These advanced threats include deep fake voice technology, AI-powered cyberattacks, and other infiltrating systems.
Daily Audits and Check for Cybersecurity Data Breaches
Companies get to know about the information security breaches after months of the attack. For instance, the US government was unaware of the data breach in high-security departments even after six months of Solarwind hacking in 2020.
Therefore, the IT and cybersecurity team should regularly conduct audits on the connected systems to ensure the firewalls and other anti-virus software are updated. In addition, the responsible team should manage the admin rights of the employees to restrict them from installing all kinds of software without permission.
Moreover, companies should prioritize their online security by investing in patch management systems and security solutions. This way, the system automatically manages all the installed software, system updates and generates a cybersecurity report. It’s essential to ensure endpoint protection of the devices that connect to the network.
Data Information Security of Remote Employees
It’s been more than a year of working from home because of the global pandemic. Unfortunately, remote working has led to an increased number of attacks to steal the company’s confidential information.
In addition to the antivirus and firewall, the remote workers should use a secure and reliable VPN connection to access the company databases and share the reports internally with other departments.
How to Prevent Cyber Attacks For Individuals?
Firstly, you should select different passwords for all your accounts. Most people use the same password for emails, Internet banking, and social media platforms. It’s the biggest mistake about which hackers are well aware.
Furthermore, you should keep your system updated because cybercriminals target out-of-date systems to access personal information.
Don’t answer questions such as your pet’s name or mother’s maiden name, especially on social media, as hackers usually post such questions on social media to gather information. It’s recommended to keep your social media account private and avoid revealing your personal information publicly.
Moreover, you shouldn’t use open public WiFi networks in restaurants, coffee shops, train stations, and airports. It’s because these are cyber criminals’ favorite spots to perform a MitM attack.
However, if necessary, you can use a VPN to secure your online traffic while connected to a public Wifi network. A VPN encrypts all your online traffic and hides your identity from hackers.
Final Thoughts About Cyber Attack Prevention
According to the Verizon 2020 report, 86 percent of the global recent data breaches were financially motivated. Moreover, the current pandemic has forced everyone to work from home, thus making confidential organizational data more accessible to hackers.
You can follow the above guide to protect your personal and organizational data from a cybersecurity attack.