If you have vulnerable data, you can become the target of a cyberattack. Internet hackers are constantly attempting to breach private information and take advantage of any available weakness in a computer system. Cybercrime usually results in the exploitation of sensitive information, or the installation of malware, two highly unfavorable outcomes. If you are worried about your data, we've provided the basics on what you should know about data vulnerability
What Is It?
The term vulnerability refers to a weakness that can uncover various threats to a system if not adequately protected. In the digital world, there are various levels in which data vulnerability displays itself. These levels are based on how systems become exposed to threats, potentially losing precious data.
- Network: Ways that hacktivists can tap into your vulnerabilities at a network level include thumb drives, anonymous profiles in server rooms, netbooks, and laptops.
- System: Phishing emails, unsecured smartphones and Cloud storage, and installing highly susceptible programs.
- Data: The Cloud and other storage applications, unsecured mobile devices, and more.
What Can Happen?
In addition to possibly losing sensitive information or having it exploited, weak cybersecurity can result in severe downtime and even legal consequences.
- Data loss: When a system's security weaknesses are penetrated by digital criminals, there's no telling whether you'll be able to recover your data.
- Tainted reputation and legal implications: If your company's data gets breached, it's very likely that you may lose client trust and business. For example, credit card companies host a massive amount of sensitive financial data. If their digital vault of information is violated, their reputation and clientele are likely to tank. This occurrence can also result in legal cases to see whether the victimized company took appropriate security measurements.
- Business downtime: The necessary IT repairs involved with malware typically alter the primary functions of business software. It is common for software to experience significant downtime while the issue gets resolved, costing you time and money.
How Can I Prevent It?
What you should know about data vulnerability is that in order to prevent it, you must take proper security measures at each level of susceptibility.
One of the common misconceptions about networks is that wireless is always better. Using an Ethernet cable and updating all network passwords are two ways to prevent this level from being compromised.
Incorporate scanning for malware during routine software and hardware maintenance. You'll be able to identify and patch threats to security more quickly, saving your data from potential damage.
Encryption has developed into a crucial element for data security. Removal of sensitive information that is not in use minimizes the chances of exploitation. Sensitive data should not be stagnant in a data center for too long, and its erasure can free up needed space and increase network speed.