Detecting and Preventing Data Security Breaches: What You Should Know

May 27

When it comes to data security, many businesses aren’t up to par. Just take a look at some of the ones in the media over the past few years. It took those companies months to figure out that there was something wrong!

For example, Verifone had a data breach for six months before realizing it, and Forever 21 had one in March 2017 that took nine months to detect.

Many studies indicate that a breach occurring from privilege abuse and insider threats takes longer to find (about 191 days). Unfortunately, many companies focus solely on the bottom line and don’t recognize the signs.

Related: Learning from Top Data Breaches in History

If a company fails to prioritize data security and data security breach occurs, then it risks losing everything. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent them. Here’s what you need to know about detecting and preventing data security breaches.

How to Detect a Data Breach

Early detection is crucial to protect customer information and sensitive company documents.

Indicators that signal something might be wrong can include:

  • High network/system activity
  • Abnormal user activity
  • New software on the system
  • Messages from ransomware
  • Unusual messages on the network
  • Unexpected password/username changes

Of course, these aren’t the only things to worry about, but they’re the most common. Anything that looks strange should be reported to the IT department immediately.

Companies can also use various cybersecurity tools to detect vulnerabilities and suspicious activity. This often isn’t effective because the techniques used by cybercriminals are more advanced, so detection doesn’t happen until the breach occurs.

Read on: Data Loss Prevention Strategies You Should Use in Your Business

Data security consultants can be beneficial here. These companies have data discovery methods and solutions to find breaches and can warn you of any existing or potential issues as soon as possible. They may also comb through dark web marketplaces and forums to check for your information, use repositories that search for leaked records, and visit paste sites.

In the meantime, you can do certain things to detect a breach on your end. If you notice anything odd, leave it alone. Many people panic and try to remove the problem, but that tampers with evidence and alerts the hacker that you’re catching on.

Without raising suspicion, you can collect important evidence, such as log files, active connections, and a list of your running processes. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to call a professional data security company. The experts can go in and get the evidence without changing anything.

It’s also important to report everything internally, such as to your IT department. Log every incident and issue you have, and make sure that everyone knows there could be a breach.

Prevention Is Key

Data security often relies heavily on preventing a breach. It’s much easier to have strong passwords instead of tracking odd network processes and concerns.

With many strategies out there, it might be a good idea to try some of the newest trends for cybersecurity. For example, AI-enabled detection systems can predict new attacks and notify admins (or whoever you choose) about potential breaches instantly.

Your in-house IT team should:

  • Update/patch software.
  • Educate employees about data security best practices.
  • Enforce multi-factor authentication.
  • Require strong credentials (password/username).
  • Upgrade devices as software updates becomes unavailable.
  • Use high-grade encryption.

Since many people are working remotely now, data security is harder to handle and more important than ever. Employees use their own devices, so a strict BYOD policy is essential, as well.

Read more: All You Need to Know About Ransomware and Ways to Prevent It

Detecting a data breach isn’t easy, but there are things you can do to identify them. The most obvious is to document everything, create reports, and let employees know what’s going on.

However, detection might not be enough, and some companies take many months to spot and stop a breach. Feeling like there’s a problem and taking control are different things. Take advantage of the services of a reputable data security company, use preventative measures whenever possible, and stay vigilant!

Johannes Beekman

About the author

Our CEO has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing in the high-tech industry. Johannes has worked for 25 years in the semiconductor industry, where he worked for Philips, Infineon, and Sematech in various management positions in process development, engineering, operations, and sales and marketing. While working for Philips, he was an engineering manager in 2 wafer fab startups. And while at Sematech, he managed various international technical symposia. He has built 3 successful digital marketing companies in the past 8 years. His focus is marketing integration, marketing technology, SEO, and inbound and outbound marketing. And he has developed a content creation system that uses the AIDA model to develop content for every stage of the sales funnel. Johannes has experience working with companies in manufacturing, the high-tech industry, process industry, IT, healthcare, and legal industry, and he has published on several trade-focused websites.


cybersecurity, data backup, data breach prevention, data protection, data security, IoT Security, network protection

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