Tools & security tips: How to leverage the full potential of data

cyber-security

Data is an invaluable asset that a company has. Day in and day out, we witness attacks on big brands where important data is compromised.

WannaCry attack is a fresh example of this — where the ransomware encrypted the data of many big companies and demanded a ransom to decrypt the same. These attacks have made it clear that a company’s data is constantly threatened, and there’s no end to it either.

To safeguard this data, companies need to take some stringent security measures. But, there’s a dilemma: Data is also one of the most difficult things to protect because;

  • It is everywhere. On laptops, in emails, on mobiles, etc.
  • It is constantly changing. As new data is added, deleted, or modified, it becomes more difficult to protect.
  • It needs to be accessible. Employees need to be able to access data to do their jobs.

Looking at a report by Purplesec, here’s what was revealed about cyberattacks:

  • Over 50% of all cyberattacks are done on SMBs.
  • Enterprises experienced 130 security breaches per year, per organization, on average.
  • Enterprises saw the annual cost of cyber security increase by 22.7% in 2021.
  • The annual number of security breaches in enterprise organizations increased by 27.4%.

Furthermore, Checkpoint revealed that global cyberattacks increased by 28% in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

If anything, this indicates that companies need to be uptight about their data!

Data is becoming increasingly critical to businesses, and with the rise of cloud computing, companies are storing more data than ever. As a result, companies need to have a powerful security strategy to protect their data.

So the question arises, how can a company safeguard its data and at the same time leverage it to its full potential? This article discusses tools and tips; let’s live in!

1. Credential stuffing prevention.

Credential stuffing is an attack where stolen credentials are used to gain access to accounts. It has become more prominent as companies are moving to the cloud. Learn more about credential stuffing.

Credential stuffing is typically done with automated tools that try to log in to multiple accounts with the same username and password.

The latest report from the Ponemon Institute revealed that ‘54% of security incidents were caused by credential theft, followed by ransomware and DDoS attacks.

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is also a good way to mitigate the risk of credential stuffing, as it requires an additional step to log in (such as a code sent to your phone).

2. Data extraction.

Data extraction is obtaining data from a specified source and transferring it to a new environment.

This could be cloud-based, on-site, or even a hybrid of both. In terms of security, data extraction helps archive data for safe storage in the long run. Companies today depend more on data for their routine activities, and the magnitude of data they accumulate has grown exponentially.

So needs to store safely. Data extraction lets companies comply with regulations like the GDPR and helps them archive data for future use.

However, to efficiently utilize the data, extraction must start with creating a data classifier and only then process to modify it or conduct a sophisticated analysis. While the data extraction process can be a bit longer, it can benefit companies greatly and ensure peace of mind that their archived data is safe.

AI data extraction tools help in this task by providing the ability to identify, locate, and extract the data with precision and accuracy.

3. Machine learning.

Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that emphasizes training computers to learn from data and advance independently.

In the cybersecurity realm, machine learning is applied to identify and prevent malicious activity, and it can be used to enhance the accuracy of threat discovery and response.
Machine learning can also be used to establish predictive models that can assist organizations in preemptively defending against cyberattacks.

Solutions like endpoint detection and response (EDR) are a sine qua non for companies that deal with critical data. It helps organizations detect, investigate, and respond to security threats on endpoint devices. Moreover, they accumulate data from endpoint devices and then utilize it to deliver visibility into what is happening on such devices.

EDR tools can also obstruct malicious activity and comprise features like up-to-the-minute threat detection, incident response, and forensics.

4. Ransomware.

Ransomware is malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom to decrypt them.

Ransomware is typically spread through phishing emails or exploit kits that exploit vulnerabilities on a victim’s machine. In the latest report from the FBI, 2,084 ransomware complaints were registered from January to July 31, 2021, representing a 62% year-over-year increase.

According to another report, the average ransom payment was $140,000 in the first quarter of 2021. To curb this, it is best to have a robust backup strategy in place. So, even if your files are encrypted, restoring them from a backup is easier.

5. Data loss prevention.

Data loss is another glaring problem faced by companies of all sizes.

Stats show that the average downtime cost for companies of all sizes is almost $4,500/minute. In simple terms, it is the unauthorized disclosure or destruction of information.

To curb this, data loss prevention (or DLP) is a tried-and-tested strategy to prevent data loss performed by identifying, monitoring, and protecting data.

Leverage data to its fullest potential, but safely!

Companies are now scrambling to find means to amass as much data as possible to find some sort of edge over their competitors.

However, with all this data comes a great responsibility to safeguard it. Data is sensitive, and if it falls into the wrong hands, it could be exploited for nefarious purposes.

To recap, we discussed credential stuffing, data extraction, machine learning, ransomware, and data loss prevention. Implementing even just a few of these solutions can help you go a long way in securing your data.

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