Strategies CIOs Can Rely on to Protect Their Enterprises from the Pricey Data Breaches

By StartUp City | Thursday, September 26, 2019

Who do you think should take the blame when a data breach occurs? And what all they can do to prevent such impending cybersecurity intrusions that may devour their enterprises?

Fremont, CA: The wave of data breaches continues to put the companies down. The hackers are getting perceptive with time and busy embracing new techniques to acquire personal and confidential data to accomplish their money-centered goals. The amount of compromised data is alarmingly on the rise, and personal data has become the most valued type of data to jeopardize. The most unfortunate fact is that the companies are not prepared enough to cope up with these breaches. However, they can't afford to neglect these threats either. 

The hackers are targeting independent ventures than big enterprises by recognizing their inability to keep the hackers at bay. These kinds of encroachments can only be prevented through dodging the conventional methodologies and accepting multifaceted approaches. The advancement of technology and the global proliferation of electronic data have made things even worse and kept data breaches a top concern for both organizations and clients. The exponential growth of data with time has gifted the cybercriminals with an opportunity to grab a massive volume of data in a single breach and enabled them to cause irreparable loss to the user community.

The Role of the CIOs in Preventing Data Breaches

Recent global cyberattacks such as WannaCry, NotPetya, and the Equifax breach have increased awareness among the organizations of the importance of investing in cybersecurity. In this era of steadfast data breaches, the Chief Information Officers must feel like a mobile target at a firing range. Today's Chief Information Officers operate in digital environments that are perforated with cyber threats. They face a staring frightful new reality-one -where the next cyberattack against their company, and the public's reaction to it, could make or break their careers.

The Chief Information Officer's role in security extends beyond managing the systems and processes that run the enterprises. Indeed, it is vital to assure that the operations are effective, and critical data is properly housed. Even though the direct line of responsibility for data security may lead to the chief security officer, the Chief Information Officer has several roles to play alongside and in support of these efforts.

The CIO should take charge of the data breaches mainly for two reasons. 1st he/she is in the best position to recognize the complexities and specifics of the IT infrastructure and services that run the entire business processes. This level of understanding enables the Chief Information Officer to consider all implications, even those stemming from or affecting the efficacy of the operations, technology, and events outside the enterprise. 

Secondly, the CIOs are often held accountable for high profile breaches. This extra pressure is always an excellent impetus for a CIO to consider enterprise security a key priority. 

While no organization is completely out of the reach of the data breaches remains a fact, strategies can be put in motion to reduce the potential of a data breach. Or at least diminish the impact when a data breach does occur. Here are a few hints CIOs can prepare to handle the impending security intrusions.

A Well Framed Data Security Policy

Having a data security policy that is zero-tolerant towards security violations is one of the best ways to protect the establishments from external threats. The goal of these data security policies is to address security threats effectively and to implement strategies to mitigate the vulnerabilities in the sphere concerned.

A policy which has been tailored specifically for the particular data protection challenges of an organization will also provide clarity about the measures that have to be adopted when such network intrusions occur there.

The critical factor is to have a well-crafted security policy that lucidly defines the company's position on security and mitigate the risks pertaining to that.

Employee Training

The employees who are well versed with the provisions of the data security policies are an added asset to the organization. Such employees can be raised through proper and meticulous training processes. 

As the majority of the hackers take advantage of the human error to gain access to the sensitive information of any organization, investing time and money on employees has become as much important as throwing funds to secure technology.

Many data breaches happen when the employees who are not aware of the data security measures fall prey to phishing and social engineering. Such scams and issues can affect anyone from the top executive to the janitor of an organization. Hence the companies should consider the task to make their employees realize how critical their role is in protecting sensitive data, with utmost priority.

Restrict Data Access

It is essential to formulate a system that constraints access to certain information to just those staff with a need to know. Also, if an employee no longer works for the business, it is necessary to check whether the company has disabled their accounts so that they can no longer access confidential information that belongs to the company. This restriction procedure includes access controls or privilege rights, including password controls as well as physical access limitations.

It is also important to check the physical security of the systems and devices that carries sensitive data prone to security breaches.

Stop Drive-By Downloads

Content filtering is one of the most crucial steps one should take to avoid data breaches. There are so many breaches that occur via drive-by download, malicious or compromised websites that can exploit the system in the organization with mere access. Such threats can be prevented by blocking the insiders from accessing such websites.

Employee Monitoring 

Create a system monitoring program where the HR person or compliance officer can monitor the behavior of an insider. By linking that with the data loss prevention technology, where one can set rules, the classification, and access management of the undesired website can be made possible.

Breach Discovery Plan

Responding to a breach needs to be fast and efficient. And the presence of a strong data recovery plan will be an added advantage and will help to minimize the damages a data breach can bring.

Frequent Updating of the Software

Keeping all application software and application systems updated will reduce the risk of data breaches to an extent. Install patches whenever available. An enterprise network is vulnerable to threats and breaches when programs are not patched and updated regularly.

Final Thought

Chief Information Officers are incredibly valuable resources. But all too often they see themselves as the scapegoats in the event of a data breach. The proactive efforts and the effective implementation of the tips mentioned above will protect their organizations from fall prey to the potential data breaches and other threats.

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