Who can you trust? The growing threat of data breaches

Almost every business across the globe will understand the threat of a security breach – specifically one caused with regards to IT systems.

The loss of data as a result of these breaches is often not the biggest side effect, however, as a company will often struggle to reimburse customers impacted by the event and repair a damaged reputation.

A solution is required – but it's becoming more difficult for business to find one. Aside from the standard information security solutions, businesses need to address all potential attack vectors.

The threat landscape

At the end of 2014, Verizon Enterprise released a report detailing data breaches during the year. It surveyed 50 organisations across the globe and investigated over 63,000 security incidents, along with 1,367 confirmed data breaches.

The report serves to show the substantial array of attacks, and what businesses need to do. Here are just a few:

Miscellaneous errors: These are any mistakes that compromise security, whether it's sending confidential data to the wrong party or failing to destroy sensitive information after use.

Insider misuse: Something that's quite hard to deal with, but a danger nonetheless. Essentially, these are people within the organisation leaking sensitive data.

Web apps: Attackers using stolen credentials or even exploiting vulnerabilities to gain access to web applications, whether they're content management systems or related to e-commerce.

Businesses need to start thinking about cybersecurity.

Businesses need to start thinking about cybersecurity.

As data security needs to be a top priority, every organisation needs to understand the possible threats. As noted above, loss of data could prove to be extremely damaging.

So what measures can be taken to ensure ongoing security?

Protective measures

It's important for businesses to look beyond software when implementing effective security. As can be seen with the attack vectors above, many can occur from within the business itself.

That's why it's important to educate staff on security practices and teach them about what can cause breaches. Such education could involve why it's important not to plug in unknown flash drives, or visit web links that appear malicious.

In addition, there are security methodologies available that can be used to implement stronger security architectures. In turn, this means stronger security systems that the business can use to defend against cyberattacks.

A best-practice methodology such as SABSA is one of the best options for security – as it's a leading open security architecture framework. As with most frameworks, it doesn't take long to get up to speed with the course – and the benefits can be long-lasting.