Night at the Altoona Curve

Night at the Altoona Curve

Ask an Expert – Episode 5 – AI vs LLM vs Automation

How Can Companies Prevent Security Breaches?

how can companies prevent security breaches

Data is the lifeblood of modern organizations. Secure data is essential for protecting sensitive information, maintaining customer trust, complying with regulations and ensuring business continuity. Data breaches rose to a record high in 2023 with over 3,200 reported breaches — that’s a 78% increase from 2022. A data breach, also known as data leakage, is any form of unauthorized access, exposure, disclosure or loss of confidential information. 

Compromised data can result from a variety of motives from external attackers aimed at gaining unauthorized access to financial records, credit card numbers, social security number or bank account information. Vigilance against unending, evolving threats can cause data breach fatigue — leading to complacency with cybersecurity and lax in employee awareness. It’s essential for your company to learn how to prevent data leakage to maintain its security posture and stay a step ahead of hackers. 

How Do Data Breaches Happen? 

Though many people assume security breaches are always a result of intentional attacks, they can also be caused by unintentional flaws in your company’s infrastructure or employee oversight. Below, we’ve outlined other common ways a security breach can occur:

  • Human error: Employees can accidentally cause a data breach by making simple mistakes, such as emailing confidential information to the wrong recipient when distracted, having easy-to-guess passwords or failing to update their software to patch vulnerabilities.
  • Malicious insiders: Data breaches can occur by an insider deliberately misusing their access to your company systems as an act of revenge or sabotage. They can use their authorized access to get the company’s trade secrets, financial details, passwords, client lists and other sensitive information to harm the organization or an individual. Some may even sell this information to competitors or hackers in exchange for profit.
  • Lost or stolen devices: Confidential data can easily be breached when documents, laptops, phones or hard drives are lost or stolen. Employees leaving sensitive documents unattended is an easy opportunity for individuals with malicious intent. Anything that contains sensitive information can pose a major risk if it ends up in the wrong hands, especially if it’s unlocked and unencrypted.
  • Targeted attack: Outside criminals will use various techniques to obtain confidential information from a network or individual. These methods include social engineering tactics that manipulate users into divulging sensitive data, tricking users into opening malicious software attachments and crashing a company’s network by flooding it with fake requests. 

The Widespread Impact of Security Breaches

Companies of all sizes and types are vulnerable to a data breach. The average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million, increasing by over 15% since 2020. While these immediate financial losses can be devastating, data breaches have a far-reaching impact that can affect your entire organization in many other direct and indirect ways. 

The ramifications of a security breach can result in:

  • Reputation damage
  • Increased operational costs
  • Financial penalties
  • Operational downtime
  • Difficulties in achieving company growth
  • Legal claims and expenses
  • Reduced customer loyalty
  • Poor public reception of your company
  • Public relations expenses
  • Erosion of trust with existing and new consumers
  • Challenges in generating revenue in the future
  • Compromised company sustainability 

Best Practices for Preventing Data Breaches

Even the smallest vulnerability can put your entire organization at risk for a security breach. If you want to learn how to prevent a data breach in your company, follow these tips to reduce organizational exposure.

1. Educate and Train Employees

A study revealed that 88% of data breaches were caused by employee mistakes. Employees are often your first line of defense, which is why cybersecurity awareness training should be a mandatory component of employee onboarding and continued learning. 

Be sure to teach employees about the most common threats to your specific organization and how to avoid them. Are your employees at risk for social engineering ploys, fraudulent emails or being tricked into handing over sensitive details? Provide regular training that encourages them to stick to the best cybersecurity practices, including:

  • Using strong passwords
  • Changing passwords often
  • Using a different password for every account
  • Staying up-to-date with the latest threats
  • Using multi-factor authentication (MFA) to prove their identity
  • Implementing access controls to protect data and resources
  • Updating software when prompted to do so
  • Avoiding phishing and other social engineering scams

2. Develop an Incident Response Plan 

Do your employees understand their role in the event of a data leak or breach? Creating a well-designed incident response plan (IRP) equips your team with clear steps to quickly respond to a data threat or data breach. Your IRP should include ways your employees and security teams can detect, contain and eradicate cyberthreats as soon as possible. 

Your teams should also know who is responsible for reporting a data breach, discover what data was compromised and monitor your network for other malicious activity. You may even create a dedicated response team to mitigate the damage and costs of these events.

3. Perform Regular Security Audits

Regulatory and internal compliance are an obligation in most industries, including government and finance. If your company has a poor data security strategy, you can risk overlooking vulnerabilities and threats until it’s too late. Scheduled internal audits can prevent data breaches by ensuring your organization maintains compliance with ever-changing regulations and cyberthreats. 

Performing audits offers an opportunity to eradicate old practices, gaps in security and weak controls in your existing systems and networks. You can also identify if your employees have drifted from your polices, protocols and procedures by auditing your processes regularly. 

4. Maximize Your Company’s Cybersecurity Practices

A strong internal security strategy is key to protecting your company against vulnerabilities that could lead to a breach. However, detecting and preventing security threats is a collaborative effort. For small- and medium-sized businesses, there may not be ample resources to create a dedicated security team to stay on top of minimizing compromise risk. 

You can implement proactive, comprehensive cybersecurity services by working with a trusted technology solutions provider. Business cybersecurity services will help you make the necessary improvements to minimize risk so you can focus on other organizational objectives.

Why Trust Morefield for Data Breach Protection?

With so many new data threats evolving, it can be more and more challenging to enhance your organization’s security. Outdated and weak security measures can lead to significant data and financial losses at your company. 

At Morefield, we want to help you protect your core systems, processes and networks that breathe life into your organization. We recognize that preventing and responding to cyber threats requires continuous work, which is why we offer a range of resource and management tactics to keep your business safe. 

With our innovative, integrated solutions that address your specific problems and grow with your company’s needs. Our technicians and engineers maintain the highest level of qualifications and professionalism to properly care for every facet of your business technology. You can rely on fast response times, remote software upgrades and greater efficiency across your entire company.

Stay Ahead of Cybersecurity With Morefield

Protecting your company’s data against never-ending security threats can be challenging to sustain. When you work with Morefield, we’ll help you meet your company’s cybersecurity needs by identifying potential weaknesses and risks. It’s our goal to help organizations make smarter technology decisions and enhance compliance. Our scalable cybersecurity solutions protect your sensitive data and reduce the consequences of an unexpected data breach.

With our wide variety of services, you can defend the availability, integrity and confidentiality of your data. We encourage you to schedule a cybersecurity assessment with us today to learn more about preventing security breaches.

Business Happy Hour with Langan Financial & UPMC Child Life Program

We teamed up with Langan Financial to host a Spring happy hour, on at their office at 1863 Center Street, Camp Hill.

We had delicious food from Dodge City once again as well as fresh flower bouquets for our guests.

We were happy to support UPMC’s Child Life Program at UPMC Children’s Harrisburg. A program that plays a crucial role in supporting children and families during medical challenges or hospitalization. This program provides pivotal care for children through education, training, and what I consider a vital aspect – helping a child maintain their childhood as much as possible during hospital stays.

If you were unable to attend, but would still like to support them here is a link to their wish list :

Manufacturers’ Association Spring Networking Event

We had a wonderful night networking with the Manufacturers’ Association and others in the industry. Thank you to everyone that came out and kicked off the spring weather at this great venue in York.

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 24th 4:30-6:30pm EDTLocation: South County Brewing Company, The Virgil Room, 170 Crossway Drive, York, PA 17402

Sign Up for Our Newsletter