February 15, 2015
Spotting a Security Breach is trickier than you think
Your data is the lifeblood of your company. It’s your customer data, financial records, intellectual property, HR information, historical documents, marketing plans, business strategies, client project deliverables, market research, operational processes, and on and on and on. It’s everything that keeps your company both functioning in the here and now, and moving forward to a brighter, more prosperous future.
So, obviously, you need to make sure your data is protected. No real surprise there. That’s why we utilize things like firewalls, 2-factor authentication, email/Web security, data encryption, and data disaster recovery. Protecting your data is a strategic component to your IT policies, and your business operations in general.
However, data breaches are happening with more and more frequency, and the odds that you would even recognize when a breach has occurred are declining rapidly. Why? These cyber-attacks are happening with much more stealth than ever before. Hackers frequently use phished information from emails to gain access to private information and slowly extract data without raising any alerts in most security infrastructures. Many times, these attacks could come from trusted parties such as your own employees, partners or even IT staffs themselves. It’s not simply business owners and techies that recognize the significance of a company’s data. Every single person you employ is aware that your data is where your value is kept. Anyone with access to your systems can steal, damage, or delete your data – either out of retaliation or for personal gain. Too much trust in your employees or partners can be extremely destructive to your business, but then who wants to run their company with so much suspicion?
It’s critical that you’re not only taking preventative measures to avoid a data breach, but also actively and regularly monitoring your network to quickly spot a breach if it occurs. To help you recognize when your data is under attack, I’ve put together a short data breach awareness checklist.
You may be experiencing a data breach if…
- Your company’s data or servers are suddenly unavailable
- Your data or files do not look like they should or appear to have been corrupted
- Your website is unresponsive or slow (denial-of-service attacks or corruption)
- There are changes to your website you did not authorize
- Third parties are complaining that your website is not working or has malware
- You are unable to access the Internet
- Something within your network, perhaps your website or server is sending out spam or mass emails
- Your monitoring solutions are reporting high network activity or are sending out alerts
- Someone beside yourself is accessing your company’s external Web accounts – posing as yourself – and you are getting notifications of external login attempts
- Someone has already logged into your accounts and is sending payroll to non-existing employees or accessing financial accounts
- The FBI or law enforcement called and your customer’s data is on a server in Eastern Europe
- Your CEOs laptop is locked up and he has to pay a fine to cyber-criminals to unlock the data
This can be a lot for a company to tackle all on their own, however. Both monitoring and protecting your data is time consuming and stress inducing. Consider conducting a regular security risk assessment, internally or through a trusted IT partner, to check on the health of your IT systems and data protection. Implement strong security controls to address the results of your risk assessment. And look into external security monitoring solutions that will actively monitor and manage your security, so you don’t have to, and you won’t have to worry, either.
eSecurity Solutions is currently offering a special, limited time offer for a free consultation around our security risk assessments and managed security solutions. If you would like to schedule one of these free consultations, please contact us at 866-661-6685 or sales@eSecuritySolutions.com.