Cybercrime is rising, and the number of data breaches is increasing. You should be aware of the simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your business from cybercrime. This post will outline some of the different ways you can protect yourself against cybercrime. It will discuss how to protect your computer and network, how to practice good online habits, and what actions you should take if you’re a victim of cybercrime.
How Data Breaches Happen & What You Can Do To Protect Yourself
Data breaches have become more common nowadays with the increase in digitalization and the use of technology in our lives. These breaches are either intentional or unintentional, but they all have one thing in common – they compromise sensitive data. Most breaches are the result of:
- Poor IT protocols
- Untrained employees
- External hackers
- Phishing attacks
Poor IT protocols
Many organizations’ IT protocols are outdated, weak, or both. This is why most breaches happen because of weak security systems. For example, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) has been the standard internet protocol for transferring data files between computers/servers across the internet. The issue is that FTP isn’t a secure process and is vulnerable to hackers.
If you, or your organization, use the FTP protocol infrequently, the risk is fairly small. However, if your use of the protocol becomes mission-critical, then a more secure method of transfer is vital to keep your data secure. A managed FTP provides a secure method of transferring sensitive data. It has the following benefits:
- Files are encrypted
- Bandwidth scalability
- Flexible deployment options
A lot of breaches are the result of employees not following company protocol. For example, an employee might access confidential data that they’re not authorized to see. Failing to follow protocol can damage trust in the workplace and can lead to litigation if sensitive information is stolen or compromised.
To minimize this threat, you should implement an IT security policy that automatically sets access privileges suitable to the employee’s role in the organization.
Many breaches come from external sources, such as phishing attacks or outside hackers. External hackers are often after your data to steal identities, access confidential files, or trick an accounts department into making erroneous payments. They can also be used by criminals to create botnets – networks of compromised computers that can be used for DDoS attacks.
To protect against external hacking, employees must know how to spot fraudulent information online and report any suspicious or fraudulent-looking websites or emails.
Attacks such as phishing and viruses happen when criminals successfully obtain sensitive information through social engineering (a process used by cybercriminals to convince others that they are someone they are not), malware (viruses, worms, etc.), or Trojans (software with malicious functionality). This occurs when hackers use the data gathered through these methods for their own gain.
Increasing rates of cybercrime are making you a target for data breaches. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to avoid being a victim or to minimize the damage if you do get hacked. For example, you should keep your computer/network up to date with all software updates and patches. A managed FTP protocol is also a good way to keep your data secure during file transfers. You should also keep track of any suspicious activity; if a company is asking for personal information, then it’s more likely that it will be targeted by cybercriminals.