How to Prevent Data Breaches with Disaster Recovery Practices

How to Prevent Data Breaches with Disaster Recovery PracticesA data breach can cause devastating losses. Businesses can lose money, data, and credibility as a result of an attack like this. Without protective measures against a breach, such as backup and disaster recovery, a business is already in trouble. In order to prevent data breaches, we must first learn the different ways a data breach can occur.

There are three overarching kinds of data breaches, the first being a data access breach. This is a breach that happens when a user is able to attain access to data without permission and without altering any records. The users who accomplish this can be internal, such as a vendor or partner. They can also be an external unidentified user. Because no records are changed in the process, a data breach such as this can be unknown for weeks or months after it initially occurred.

The next type of data breach is a data modification or corruption breach. Users gain access to data, again, without permission, and then modify or corrupt it. An example of this is the WannaCry virus from 2017. The data is usually then encrypted, such that it can be held hostage by the user, typically until a ransom is paid.

Finally, there are data eradication breaches. During these types of breaches, the virus or user will purposely delete data. This is rarer than the other kinds of breaches, but it is potentially the most damaging to a business.

Now that you know the basics of data breaches, how do you prevent them?

Start by backing up your data, as well as documenting where it is stored and how you can access it. Be aware of the fact that confidential data could potentially be on an employee’s device as well as on a backup. By maintaining knowledge of the locations of your data and protecting and backing it up accordingly, you are less vulnerable to a data breach.

Another step you’ll want to take is categorizing your data according to how sensitive it is. All data is not necessarily vital to a business, so there’s no need to spend money on giving the same level of security to every file. More sensitive data should be encrypted, but this is not necessary for all data. To decide what data needs more security, reflect on what the loss of it what do to your company.

Once you’ve figured out the levels of security your data needs, you begin to put those security measures into action. Data can be secured using antivirus and antimalware software, hardware, and encryption applications. Start with protecting sensitive data, such as customer information, before moving onto less critical data. Perhaps the most important part of this step is to test that all of your security features are operational and configured and enabled correctly.

You’ll also need a documented, comprehensive disaster recovery plan. This should include having backups of all of your data, which you can use if a server goes down or a laptop gets stolen. The plan should identify who is responsible for each job necessary for recovery. If you need help creating a disaster recovery plan, check out some free online plans here.

Data breaches are inevitable. However, if you prepare yourself with extensive backups and a complete disaster recovery plan, the likelihood of a breach causing serious damage to your business decreases dramatically.

Tess Hanna
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