Top 5 Tips to Prevent Data Breaches

Top 5 Tips to Prevent Data Breaches

With hacks, attacks, ransoms and even extortion attempts, 2017 has been the year of data breaches, and it’s not even over yet.

With hacks, attacks, ransoms and even extortion attempts, 2017 has been the year of data breaches, and it’s not even over yet.

Among the most notable, Equifax’s 143 million record breach included leaked salary histories, drivers’ licenses and social security numbers. HBO suffered a massive breach of its servers in which hackers pilfered everything from full episodes of unreleased shows to sensitive internal documents. Yahoo, which is now owned by Verizon, admitted that all three billion of the user accounts that existed in 2013 had been hacked. And we recently learned that North Korean hackers stole a large amount of classified military documents, including South Korea-U.S. wartime operational plans to wipe out the Pyongyang leadership.

The reality is that we can expect these types of data breaches to only increase in frequency and scope in 2018. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated and organized when it comes to malicious attacks, and they employ a range of tactics to ensure maximum disruption and financial gain. Now is the time for enterprises to act and implement effective measures to secure data against cyber attacks – but many don’t realize that content is the missing piece in cyber security.

The good news is that there are concrete steps companies can take to make it harder for cybercriminals to do damage. Here’s a list of the top five things every company should do to prevent data breaches in 2018 and beyond:

  • Inventory & Classify Documents: Any security technology that is implemented to keep data secure cannot be effective unless it is clear what data is of value. For this reason, document classification must dovetail with security processes to identify, record and potentially encrypt content in order to keep it safe both within and outside the firewall.
  • Embrace Open Thinking: Unless companies embrace the power of open thinking and a new pragmatic approach to security, data breaches are going to become the “new normal,” leaving companies to deal with the inevitable fallout and impact on brand reputation. Every business is now contending with the interplay between making information instantly accessible to a range of users and keeping it secure against malicious attacks.
  • Work Smarter to Thwart Attacks: Instead of throwing away more money and resources, companies should work smarter and leverage efficiencies to assess and organize all content (not just digital but also physical records that still hold value) and proactively remove data that is no longer relevant or important. Businesses will be in a better position to withstand and mitigate evolving threats by adapting this approach.
  • Implement Open Source: The beauty of open source is that it's transparent. Alfresco has an ecosystem of 34,000 technologists and developers in the open community who are looking at code day in and day out, so it's actually more secure, not less secure. That's the value that Alfresco brings to the table.
  • Commit to Digital Transformation: Today, CIOs are under greater pressure than ever before to provide tools to increase knowledge workers’ efficiency, reduce costs and free up resources. And yet CIOs cannot answer basic questions, such as:
    • Can users find the documents they need?
    • Exactly what information are we storing? At what cost?
    • What are our high-value content and processes?

Many enterprises still lack solutions capable of truly rationalizing information management, securely sharing data internally and with stakeholders, and providing transparency and accountability. This will only come with true digital transformation.

 

About the Author

Ankur Laroia is the Strategic Solutions Leader at Alfresco Software.

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