Chuck Leaver – Data Breaches Are On The Rise So Organizations Must Pursue Data Loss Prevention

By Ziften CEO Chuck Leaver

For United States businesses the occurrence of a significant cyber attack and consequential data leak is looking more like “when” rather than “if”, because of the new risks that are presenting themselves with fragmented endpoint strategies, cloud computing and data extensive applications. All too frequently companies are ignoring or improperly resolving vulnerabilities that are understood to them, and with aging IT assets that are not properly secured the cyber criminals begin to take notice.

The number of data breaches that are taking place is very disturbing. In a report from the Verizon Risk Team there were 855 substantial breaches which resulted in 174 million records being lost back in 2011. The stakes are very high for businesses that deal with personally identifiable information (PII), due to the fact that if employees are not informed on compliance and inadequate endpoint data security steps remain in place then expensive legal action is most likely to take place.

” The possibility of a data breach or personal privacy problem happening in any business has become a virtual certainty,” Jeffrey Vagle, legal expert writing for Mondaq mentioned. He recommended that record keepers need to reassess their approach to network and device security, employee data access controls and the administration of PII details. The increase in the use of cloud services can make the prevention of data breaches more of a challenge, as these services make it possible for the enormous exchange of info every time. It would just take one occurrence and countless files could be lost.

Known Vulnerabilities Require Focus

A great deal of IT departments stress continually about zero day attacks that will cause a data breach and catch them off guard. As an example of this, Dirk Smith of Network World discussed an Adobe Acrobat exploit that provided access for hackers to perform advanced surveillance. A lot of IT vulnerabilities can come when software is not patched up to date, and a great deal of zero day threats can take place from weak points in legacy code that includes a bug in Windows which targeted functions that were first presented Twenty Years back.

Security expert, Jim Kennedy wrote in a Continuity Central post “one thing that I have discovered is that much of the breaches and invasions which were successful did so by attacking known vulnerabilities that had actually been determined and had actually been around for years: not from some sophisticated ‘zero-day’ attack which was unidentified and unknown up until just the other day by the security community at large.” “And, even more troubling, social engineering continues to be a most effective way to start and/precipitate an attack.”

Now the cyber criminal fraternity has access to an extensive series of pre packaged malware. These tools have the ability to carry out network and computer system analytics that are complicated in nature and after that suggest the optimum attack strategy. Another risk is a human one, where staff members are not trained correctly to screen out calls or messages from individuals who lie about being a member of the technical support group of an external security provider.

It is definitely essential to proactively prevent zero day attacks with robust endpoint protection software, however also companies need to combine efficient training and procedures with the software and hardware solutions. While many companies will have a number of security policies in place there is typically an issue with enforcing them. This can result in risky fluctuations in the motion of data and network traffic that should be reviewed by security staff being ignored and not being attended to.

 

~leaverchuck1


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