Today the question is not if you will be hacked, but when it will happen, how it will occur and what will be lost. With today's devastating fallout from successful hacks/breaches, preparing to for these attacks has become a top priority for most organizations and should be considered by all. Here are 7 precautions you can take to protect your unstructured data:
1. Prepare for a Breach
Do this by identifying any vulnerable points in your system and knowing all the types of information your company has. This can be done through data mapping and classification which is the digital equivalent of saying that you are going through your home, for instance, and taking an inventory of all your valuables for insurance purposes.
2. Take a Look at Your Associates' Security Measures
How well do outside vendors or business partners you share data with — not just the data that is stored within your organization — protect their own assets? Talk with them and set up some type of contractual agreement, evaluation or review to provide assurances that their security measures and data management processes will be up to par with yours.
3. Have an Outside Agent Develop a Risk Profile
There are experts who know exactly how hackers operate and can look at a company in terms of its vulnerabilities. They know and can identify weaknesses in systems and tell you how to use this information in deciding where to allocate your resources the best and, in which areas you need to prioritize.
4. Change and Deny Any Consent Access as Soon as Possible
It may be a good idea to examine and sort out all normal, administrative, guest and file sharing users. New employees replace old ones and companies may now be using different vendors. Pinpoint who needs consent, particularly in a multiuser environment, to keep records secure. Knowing exactly who has permission to access sensitive company data can save with costly breaches whether they are unintentional or not.
5. Secure Your Data Once it Leaves Your Protection
It is also important to remember to protect your company's assets as you allow others to access them online. When they are no longer protected by your firewall, this content still should be secured with controls that allow settings to adjust and shift permissions when and as they are needed.
6. Be Able to Find and Protect Data at a Moment's Notice
Security should be able to go wherever your content travels and surround it 24/7. A good software solution will connect your network devices and run seamlessly in the background; whether it is from a laptop, desktop or mobile. This allows scans that can discover any sensitive information quickly and keep it secure by automatically applying content classification.
7. Develop a Continuous Plan of Action
Set up a monitoring system to oversee all data-related activities to keep an eye on company files. This will allow you to track any company content use, review it at any given time, track any attempted access of information and, gather evidence in record-time to get a handle on any potential breaches while giving you the documentation you need.
As an investor in your company's future, you realize that now is the time for more proactive, better data security solutions. Unstructured business data can not stand up to the constant threats that are out there - both internally and externally - without someone to control and manage its access. By beginning with a vulnerability assessment test, this will give you a starting point and examine what needs to be done. The important thing is finding a company with the expertise and the right solutions in place to keep your files safe and secure. This allows you to get back to the business of making money and will not only provide genuine peace of mind but, will reward you with valuable savings in terms of your company's time, money and reputation.