If you are operating a business or running an organization, you definitely know how vital it is to have your data safe. Cybercrime is one of the most widespread threats facing businesses. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) in 2017 alone, extremes of 174 million records were breached.
Well, this is only what was documented. Meaning, if every theft was documented, this number would have been even higher. The saddening fact is that while the discovery of data breaches, normally takes a long time at times even measured in years, data exfiltration takes minutes to be executed. This, therefore, means that businesses need to invest in modern means of securing their data.
Where the Data is Most Likely to be Found
Most organizations store their important data on the servers. Cybercriminals are aware of this reality and that is why their efforts are targeted on the servers, where they can obtain files with important data such as bank and credit card details, personal health info, personally identifiable information (PII), corporation’s trade secrets, intellectual property, other credentials, and much more.
The business processes of the company being attacked determine where they keep all their data. For instance, they can keep data on their databases, office documents, files for data transfer operations, making them a good target for the theft of data.
A company, therefore, needs to launch a data security to audit to prevent losing important data, henceforth financially.
What Data Security Auditing is
Data security auditing is the process whereby the company data is analyzed, getting to know how the data works, and who accesses it.
Once all these are established, a strategy is then created to document the data. To determine security risks on data, it is vital to first understand how delicate the business information moves within the company, through the company, and how the said data moves out of the company.
Why Your Company Needs Data Security Auditing
Every firm is often at risk from lawsuits which contain delicate data like privacy, emails, and web content. If the company has sensitive information on the company’s computers, they are held accountable for the information if it gets lost, stolen, or misused.
Reviewing your company’s data security from time to time means that you should perform an investigative audit of the businesses’ data.
The process of securing a company’s data should be water-tight and leave no data security loopholes. This is also one of the provisions in the federal regulations, which further states that data destruction and/or recycling should also be secure.
The FACTA, GLBA, HIPAA, and Sarbanes-Oxley are some of the bodies whose mandate is to oversee the data lifecycle. They ensure that both low and high-profile companies securely store their data.
Why Data Auditing is Important
Ponemon Institute and Symantec carried out a research that revealed that up to 39% of data breaches were as a result of negligent insiders. 37% of the data breach incidents were done by hackers. The later would turn out to be among the costliest violation, which was thought to cost up to $222 for every document that got lost or stolen.
These days, many small but growing businesses are turning to information security plan to see that they are protected against data breach. In the same vein, insurance plans such as Cyber Liability insurance policies are becoming more adapted by businesses. Adequate data security plan calls for companies to perform frequent data security audits on their own.
It’s not enough to have a complete suite of defensive anti-data breach programs but you need to also ensure that these programs and procedures are quite effective. Ensure that the business technology infrastructure does not contain any weak spots. Ensure that the company’s software and hardware are properly configured and running how it’s designed to.
Educate your employees on how they can properly protect their client’s private data. All this can be achieved if regular data security audits are performed.
Common Open Source Security Tools You Should Try
This security tool will help you to discover devices that are attached to your network. NMAP is not only a host discovery too, but also work as a port scanner and checks various services in its database comprising of more than 2200 popular services. It will help you understand what is on your network and if the device is using a vulnerable port, protocol, or service.
This open source IDS/IPS is so scalable. It inspected multi-gigabit traffic and also checks for matches on threats, violations of policies, and malicious activities. The automatic protocol detection enables Suricata to scan for malware, and the command, and control channels.
Initially, this tool was free and was used for file encryption, partitioning or a storage device. In 2014, this product ceased being maintained. However, its open source code gave rise to two new security tools, namely CipherShed and VeraCrypt. These tools are based on the original product. TrueCrypt however, they have undergone the code upgrade.
Most security professionals and network administrators prefer Wireshark as their tool of choice. Wireshark is a free packet analyzer, a perfect tool for network troubleshooting and analyzing. Users can examine data on their network or from a file capture in real-time. The tool is handy when diagnosing security devices and also event logging.