Protecting Your Business Data From Leaks or Breaches

20 October 2015

Data leaks are when your confidential business data is exposed to the public through a hack, accidental or intentional means.

All businesses hold confidential data even if it is just customer names and email addresses for the purposes of marketing. However most businesses, especially professional services, hold data which is highly sensitive such as medical information, Medicare numbers, tax file numbers, banking details, tax information, date of birth, physical addresses, payment details, purchase history, legal information and so on.

If this data was to fall into the wrong hands your business reputation could be damaged. Imagine having your entire customer database leaked online by a hack attack, or having the attacker try to extort money from you to stop them leaking the database. Unfortunately this happens, and sometimes even after paying the ransom the database is still leaked.

In Australia all businesses have obligations to protect their business data under the Australian Privacy Principals (external link). These Principals outline that businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure they protect the privacy of their customer data.

Here are some of the ways we assist our clients to protect their data:

Blocking Dropbox-like applications where they are not needed – unless there is a business need, having your staff use cloud storage like Dropbox for business files is a huge risk. Now confidential business data can be easily dragged and dropped into employee’s personal cloud storage. A place which you have no control over. Additionally that data is now automatically replicated on all the employee’s personal devices automatically (that’s how Dropbox works)! We can easily block applications like this and others using our specialised system.

24/7 monitoring all devices for security – it’s one thing to have some security software installed on your devices – but how can you check each device to ensure that it’s running, up-to-date, and secure 24/7? We automate this process and the checks occur in real-time to prevent any lapse in protection of your business data.

Monitoring missing patches for Windows/Mac and installed applications – it just takes one chink in the armour of your network to allow the bad guys in. We monitor for missing software patches in both the operating system and installed applications to ensure your systems are as secure as possible.

Monitoring network for suspicious behaviour, or unusually high levels of network traffic – unusual behaviour on the network can indicate a possible data breach – we monitor for any signs of this to arrest any leaks before they impact the business.

Scanning all email traffic to prevent malicious software entering the network – emails are an attack point for hackers, they are constantly trying to trick your employees to clicking on links or opening attachments. We don’t just scan incoming email, but we provide other specialised protections to help protect your business from email threats.

Businesses that don’t have some form of security monitoring in the form of a Managed IT provider are putting themselves, their business and more importantly their customer’s trust at risk. Engage a professional to help you manage this complicated and important aspect of IT.

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