How To Protect Company Data Against Online Theft

By  //  September 14, 2022

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The more technology evolves and creates a better working system for countless people, the more the number of people with evil intent take advantage. 

Data breaches and data theft are not uncommon or new. All it takes is a slight weakness in the technology or poor practices by the users for a bad actor to gain access to the system.

What Types Of Data Are Typically Stolen?

It’s easy to assume that a company is safe from malicious attacks because of its size or influence. Many bad actors steal data from unsuspecting individuals or organizations to sell or use to swap identities for malicious intent. The hackers will use any data they find, including;

Records of customer details 

Financial related data, e.g., information about credit or debit cards

Algorithms and source codes 

Details concerning processes and the general operating  descriptions 

Credentials within the network. These include; usernames and passwords.

Employee data and other details in the HR departments 

Private information and documents stored on company computers 

Impacts Of Data Theft

When hackers breach a system and manage to get a hold of crucial data, the effects can be severe. 

 Customers who had their information stolen, misused, or exposed could potentially sue the company. 

The hackers may attack company systems with ransomware and make ransom demands.

Financial losses. The company would have to restore or patch up systems that had been breached. 

The company could potentially lose its reputation and also valuable customers.

Reputational damage and loss of customers

In some industries, the company would have to pay fines or penalties.

While the data loss is assessed and recovered, the company will have to go through downtime where employees cannot use the systems.

When the data stolen belongs to an individual, the damages can include; identity theft, emotional distress, and financial loss.

How To Prevent Data Theft

1. Encryption 

It is one of the best ways to secure data. Encrypted data is unreadable. The only way to access encrypted data is through a decryption key. Encrypting data is useful because it keeps hackers from accessing your data in an understandable form. 

Using a virtual private network (VPN) for your company is an incredible idea. It ensures that data moving from employees, even if they were using free wifi, will not be compromised or accessed by malicious middlemen. You can ensure your device is safe by checking if you use VPN for Chrome, especially when using public wifi. A VPN will keep your IP address masked, making it difficult for someone to track your online activity. Investing in a paid VPN alternative is best because they guarantee more protection. 

2. Limit Access To Company Computers.

A company should set up a system that limits non-employees’ access to company computers. However, if the company is a fairly interactive one or the premises are too small for computers to be kept out of reach, then protect them by creating accounts for the employees that use them. 

3. Use A Strong Password 

Passwords are the first line of defense for any system. It might seem basic, but it can play a huge role in securing your system. It’s important to use a strong password with a minimum of 12 characters. Let the password comprise of both uppercase and lowercase letters. Also, be sure to use both symbols and numbers as well. 

4. Multiple Factor Authentication

To help make your systems secure, using a multiple-factor authentication such as two-factor authentication (2FA) is helpful. It adds a layer of protection because it requires two distinct forms of identification. In essence, even if a hacker managed to get a hold of your password, they would still meet a whole new layer that they need to breach within a set amount of time. The second identification is often a one-time password (OTP) sent as a text or email. Once the password expires, you must refresh it to get a new one.

5. Backup Computer Data

One of the easiest ways for hackers to attack systems is by introducing malware to the system. In doing so, they can hold the system hostage and can demand a ransom for the solution. Sometimes they don’t offer a solution or even ask for ransom. Such an attack can cause serious amounts of data loss which could be detrimental to the company’s functioning. To avoid this, backup data regularly and externally. It will ensure that all data stays safe in case of a breach.

Wrapping Up

Data theft affects many businesses and other organizations just as they affect individuals. If there are no precautions taken, it can lead to serious losses. There are simple steps to protect your system from viruses and other forms of malware. One best practice includes securing data: especially sensitive customer or employee data.