They say that prevention is the best medicine. But when it comes to data security, to truly prevent a breach would require firing all your employees. That’s because the vast majority of data security problems happen because of user error.
With this in mind, identifying the most common vulnerabilities can help facilitate your company’s ongoing security more effectively than simply putting up more firewalls. So, here are four of the lesser-known, but common cybersecurity problems:
- Know-it-all employees: Millennials and digital natives can often assume they know more than they actually do about cybersecurity. Or worse, they aren’t confident enough to ask the kind of questions that could prevent accidental exposure.
Your IT department should be a safe place for any employee to get the answers they need, or to get explanations to what they might think they already understand.
- Too-busy employees: Overworking your staff isn’t just bad practice, it also encourages shortcuts. Shortcuts around firewalls and data security protocols like logins makes even the most secure system irrelevant.
Give your employees space to take the important steps necessary to keep data secure. Even though this seems inefficient, the savings from not having your data breached is incalculable.
- Overconfidence in cloud services: Not scrutinizing the data security of cloud services—even tier 3 services—can raise your potential for an attack. Whether because it wasn’t looked into enough to begin with or because it isn’t periodically checked (like every quarter), misplaced confidence can create big problems when it comes to data security.
No system is infallible, even the higher-security systems of Tier-3 cloud services. It pays to research and recheck ongoing any service you use.
- Dispositioned devices: want to send that printer off to the recycler? Bad idea. Not only because it’s unsustainable, but because there is latent data on those flash memory bits that can be harvested by hackers. That goes for network devices, IoT gadgets, copiers, and a host of other products, too.
Your dispositioned or recycled devices could become a part of an international crime! Unless the recycler or ITAD company you use is e-Stewards certified, there is still a chance that your devices will be shipped overseas to countries desperate for the value they can glean from our e-waste. And sometimes this includes taking the data that is still on hard drives, flash drives, or RAM caches.
These are four of the more elusive ways that your data could be vulnerable to hackers or breaches. Take the precaution to ensure your data is safe by giving your employees time to understand what’s at stake, to research and scrutinize your cloud service, and to use an e-Stewards certified recycler or ITAD specialist to handle your End-of-Life devices.
Hero Image ©: Cybersecurity Observatory