7 Cybersecurity Blunders in Big Data
by Sourodip Biswas
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to mention that we are entering the age where data will become our biggest asset. To a large extent, it already has. There is a vast amount of data available to us and the more access we have to it, the more the threat has been hovering over us. Data security has rightfully become more crucial than we ever thought by the courtesy of the big data web.
This data is packed with sensitive information and without advanced systems, it is impossible to protect it 360 degrees. There is a need for systems not only to reverse the threats but also mitigate them and detect the attacks early on. The sensitive information, if leaked, can cost organizations their financial status and reputation; and individuals their privacy.
Data security essentially relies on the security decisions and security strategies you implement.
But the number one step to avoid these threats is to be aware. Knowing the common mistakes that are made is the first step you take to avoid them.
Here are 7 cybersecurity blunders that you must avoid:
1. Not Backing Up Data
Being too complacent or confident about your data can land you in unwarranted circumstances. How? If all you have is a single copy of our data - you’re preparing to lose everything. Cyber-attacks do not come with a warning, and thus your best bet is to be vigilant at all times. One of the primary steps to do so is to have a backup of all vital data. So that even if a cyberattack takes place, at least you can be assured you haven’t lost the entire data permanently.
2. Not implementing the layered security approach
Another common mistake that businesses make is to protect their devices only with endpoint security and not adopting the layered security strategy.
As the name clearly explains, layered security builds multiple layers of protection against the hackers at all levels, not limited to the end-point. This ensures that your organization’s machines and networks are secured at all times. And also all potential attack vectors (used to deliver the payload) are also neutralized.
For example, you could introduce an email security product to work with your endpoint solution. That would prevent malicious emails from reaching the destination (intended recipient) thus avoiding an error.
3. Not investing in security
No business favors additional expenses rather it is always bent on adopting the cost-effective approaches. But ask yourself - at what cost? Investing in cybersecurity is an added expense but definitely an imperative one. Because not doing so can cost you - your entire business.
The fact is - investing in security doesn’t have to be expensive. There is a whole range of anti-malware and security software available at reasonable prices. You can consider implementing a Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) solution. Under this, you won’t have to make upfront investments on software. There will be a service provider to offer you security infrastructure on a subscription basis.
4. Poor Device management
Another big mistake that businesses make is in the context of device management. Businesses start installing security software individually on devices. This is not feasible as there is an addition of more equipment. In this scenario, if attackers gain access to one, they’ll be able to exploit the entire network. Therefore, the idea must be to protect the whole network rather than specific devices. For this, consider investing in unified-threat-management-platforms. UTMs combine a firewall, content filtering, and antivirus protection into a piece of equipment with a single set of controls. Thus this model is easy to sustain and cost-effective.
Another major segment to look after is to not use personal devices for business purposes. Doing this increases the risk of a threat to your personal information. There must be a clear policy that mentions which devices are permitted in your network. Also, to secure and encrypt your traffic irrespective of the security of your original network, you can use applications such as VPN (Virtual Private Network).
5. Over-reliance on antivirus software
It’s excellent to have packed antivirus software in place but there cannot be worse blunder than relying only on that for the entire security of your business’ data. Why? Because cybercriminals can and most do attack your business through emails. One wrong link or attachment and you’re gone. Not all antivirus programs can detect and block attacks when a malicious file shows up. What can be done is - try blocking or avoiding executable files (with a .exe extension). This works towards securing your network in the long run. Also, you can make arrangements so that the employees receive documents via applications like dropbox.
6. No culture of cybersecurity awareness.
Let’s face the fact - we have still not infused the culture of cybersecurity awareness into our business systems. How do you expect to fight a problem when half of the employees are either not aware of it or do not take it as seriously?
One of the first steps towards security is to make individuals aware that why cybersecurity matters and why it should be their priority. Because they better know it by awareness rather than experience.
The simple ways to build the culture are:
- Make sure they know about the latest threats.
- Communicate about the risks and their repercussions.
- Celebrate if they have prevented a security blunder.
- Talk about innovative solutions.
- Speak of the latest advancements in terms of security.
- Inculcate regular training sessions for the employees at all levels.
- Introduce educational seminars to make the team understand the intricacies.
7. Weak Passwords
Finally, this mistake is more common than we think. But isn’t it obvious that we need to have strong passwords to protect our data? It definitely is! But not all of us do it. If all your staff has the same passwords or your password is too easy to guess, rethink your security strategy. Because you’re inviting threats in this case.
Keeping a strong password is so basic that we don’t even talk about it. And probably that’s the reason we slip at this step.
Security tools relying on big data can evaluate passwords and check if they are secure enough.
Prevention is always better, more effective, and much cheaper than reversing the damage. Make sure you remain aware and vigilant at all times. Start by eradicating the aforementioned seven blunders!
About the Author
Sourodip Biswas works with an expert team of web and mobile app developers at Space-O Canada, a leading software development company. He spends his time researching technologies and mobile apps. His work has been published on various distinguished blogs across the web.