How do I know if my company has been breached ?

To understand the full scenario of how your company has been breached, first you need to understand the term what  Breach stands for?

Cybercrime and Cyber attacks are becoming a profitable industry for hackers and that continues to grow. The main reason behind such attacks is the advancement in technology.

As we are becoming more reliable to the technology, there are pros and cons associated with it. Data for a company is valuable and works as an asset and in most of the cases what hackers are trying to breach is data only.

Ways to know your business has been breached-

  • Receiving and sending Anonymous Email attachments from one device to another without your involvement.
  • Error In login Credentials even after entering the correct ID and Password multiple times.
  • Downloads of malicious files from unauthorized networks.
  • Discover a lot of system activity at unusual times.
  • Working of different tabs in the browser without your consent.

All these steps are a sign that your business has been breached.Lets learn more about it.

What is Data Breach?

A Data Breach is an act or an incident where attackers steal the confidential information of your organization and use that information to breakdown your company’s reputation in an unauthorised way. It is considered as a theft because it is done without the knowledge of the system’s operator/owner. Data breaches are usually hacking or malware attacks.

The damage may involve financial loss and can degrade the company’s name.

Data breaches can involve financial information like credit card numbers or bank account details, protected health information (PHI), personally identifiable information (PII), trade secrets or intellectual property. Other terms for data breaches include unintentional information disclosure, data leak, cloud leak, information leakage or a data spill.

There are various methods for Data Breach-

– Insider leak where a trusted individual with access privileges steals the data- You never know what are the intentions of the employee that is working in your organization. In rare cases it has been found that the individual who has all the credential of your confidential information might breach your data by selling it to third party.

– Payment card fraud where the card gets stolen by using physical skimming devices- Credit card fraud happens when someone — a fraudster or a thief — uses your stolen credit card or the information from that card to make unauthorized purchases in your name or take out cash advances using your account.

– Loss or theft where portable drives, laptops, office computers, files get lost or stolen- Laptops and other portable devices (such as tablets, smartphones, USB drives, CDs, floppy disks, etc.) are frequently stolen or lost. Remember that you should eliminate any unauthorized sensitive information from portable devices and encrypt all authorized sensitive information. Inform the controller so they must know exactly what information was stored on the device and have an action plan to manage the security incident.

– Unintended disclosure where sensitive data gets exposed through mistakes or negligence-  There are chances that your employees can easily get tricked by social engineering just because of a super friendly nature of the outsider who has ill intentions to steal your data. You might receive a Malicious link from a third party who pretends to be a real enterprise can easily trick you and cost you losing your data. Employees’ negligence and lack of security awareness could be the reason for it.

– Unknown where the actual breach method is unknown or undisclosed- Sometimes just because of our negligence we lost our data. There are vulnerabilities inside our devices and just because we do not have a proper backup plan, we can easily lose it.

A Data breach is a serious issue but how will you get to know if your company has been hacked?

There are various signs through which you and employees can understand that they have been hacked or their data has been breached.

1-Login Error- While entering a login credential if an error message showing up that the ID and Password you have entered is incorrect that simply means your account is hacked. A Cyber criminal tries 100 of attempts to break your password and one successful attempt can cost you losing your data. It is critical for IT teams to check access and passwords that have suddenly stopped working, especially if users are certain they have entered the correct credentials.

To avoid such attacks it is necessary to use Two factor authentication or multifactor authentication, it will help you to minimize the unauthorised access.

2- Computer Behaving Strangely-  Malware is so pervasive that it should be the first possibility that pops into your mind any time something goes wrong with your PC. But there is something greater than that, if you are holding your mouse and automatically a dialog box opens, Different tabs are working in your browser without your consent, Antivirus is not working properly, that simply means your system has been compromised. In that case it is a wise idea to let the IT department investigate before the user does anything.

3- File Changes- After taking access to your organization, the hacker will definitely look for the files that stored the confidential information of your company. The file may get deleted or transferred  to an unauthorized device. These changes may be completed in minutes or even less. If your organization is not monitoring critical system files actively, these signs of a data breach can stay undetected for a long period of time.

For prevention from such attacks daily monitoring and a strong backup  is required which can easily prevent you from getting breached and will tell you about the real time changes.

4- Anomalous Account Activity- When attackers leave a breadcrumb trail regarding the use of privileged accounts, it is often because they have somehow gotten a hold of administrator logon credentials.Changed the password associated with the account giving them unbridled access to all your networks precious data and resources.  Active directory is important to be rescued from such activities because it helps us in creating different user accounts, we can create and manage security groups for our prevention.

Data Breaches can not be stopped and it is easy to blame employee negligence for the vast majority of data breaches, but the truth is, many businesses do not have comprehensive plans to meet their security requirements.

Here are the steps you can take for Data Breach prevention-

  1. Set Strong Password- The best and first step for organizations to prevent data breach is to build a strong password for their accounts. Use Uppercase, Lower Case letters, Numeric digits and Special characters while building your password. Breaking a loose password is a left hand trick for hackers.
  1. Proper Backup Plan- While password protection alone is not enough to secure the most vulnerable data, it is crucial for enterprises to perform regular backup of their data. A regular backup on cloud no matter if its public, private or hybrid, it just need to be ensured that your data is safe on the cloud and no one can break it.
  1. Establish Multi-Factor Authentication- MFA is a starting point for most organizations serious about securing and protecting their (private) data and complying with local and global regulations. MFA establishes access control via the authentication of a user or device (ie. you only gain access if you are authorized to do so). Install MFA for better security terms.

The data breaches are something that every business should be concerned about no matter their size. There are a number of different ways that data breaches occur as well as numerous ways to protect against them-

  • Capture all traffic, 24×7, on even the fastest links
  • Enable administrators to comb through archived traffic for anomalies and signs of problems.
  • Educate your staff regarding Security Awareness.
  • Have a proper backup plan.

It is becoming one of the most pressing concerns for businesses around the world and it is a big topic to think about, follow the data prevention tips mentioned above so that you make sure your data is secure.

Wanna Discuss more about it, please reach us out at 3Columns for better managed network related services. From our experts we will provide you the protips for your data security.

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