The Importance of Cybersecurity for Your Company’s Data

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Is your information including your marketing data safe from cyber-attacks?

In this digital era where data containing private information is stored in the cloud or on in-house servers, cybercrime has become one of the most pressing issues around the world. Brazen cyberattacks have become big news, from those targeting retail chains and highly-trafficked websites to the data breach at Equifax, one of the main credit rating agencies, which compromised nearly 150 million people.

It is clear that data firms and the organizations that use that data need to be vigilant and take greater steps to protect their information from hackers and cybercriminals.

The cornerstone of cybersecurity is PDR

The key to protecting data is PDR: Prevent, Detect, and Respond. Companies must establish protocols to detect and stop breaches from within and from outside sources. This should include software that can detect anomalies within the system and employee education about cybersecurity.

Using data analytics to protect your data

Data analytics can detect patterns. In the case of BDEX, it’s used to spot real-time consumer activity both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. BDEX data tells you that someone has been searching for a new car, purchased concert tickets, or bought baby food.

A similar technology can also be programmed to search for anomalies in device behavior to detect potential breaches. In other words, the same programs that search for buying patterns can be taught how to spot abnormal or suspicious network behavior. Systems can be programmed to detect threats from someone using an unknown signature. Analytics programs can also collect data from various sources and silos to learn how different kinds of attacks occur so those attacks will be quickly recognized and shut down.

Employee activity monitoring and training

Though no one wants to think that an employee could be the source of a cyber attack, it is a very real possibility. In fact, the Harvard Business Review cited a 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index from IBM, which found that 60% of all attacks were carried out by insiders. Of these attacks, three-quarters involved malicious intent, and one-quarter involved inadvertent actors.

Data analytics can be used to detect unusual activity on the part of employees, such as downloading large amounts of data or activity that takes place at unusual times. But as critical is training employees basic cybersecurity, such as not exchanging sensitive data over unsecured networks and how to avoid vishing and phishing attacks. Vishing is when hackers try to human engineer their way into getting credentials or other information through a phone call, while phishing attempts the same thing using fraudulent emails that spoof reputable senders.

Employees should only accept emails that:

  • Come from someone they know
  • They expected to receive
  • Look normal with no unusual email addresses, spellings, wording or suspicious content or links
  • Pass anti-malware tests

Employees must understand the risks of certain behaviors, such as clicking unknown links, downloading content or software from unknown or unverified sources, and visiting certain websites. Any of these behaviors can lead to computers becoming infected with a virus or malicious software that can corrupt or steal data.

There should also be proper training in document management and data management, as well as training on how to recognize and report computer problems that could be related to a virus, malware, or other threat.

Monitoring outside threats with intrusion detection

Many types of threats come from beyond the perimeter of your company’s network. Companies must have adequate perimeter protections to stop the intrusion, which typically involves a professional-grade firewall. Other security steps include using multi-factor authentication, which requires at least two distinct forms of identity to log in to a system, and the use of data encryption. Encryption is particularly valuable, as even if hackers successfully steal data, they simply can’t read or use it without the encryption key.

Cybersecurity is now crucial and growing in importance

With cybercrime costing organizations and individuals as much as $600 billion in 2017 alone, security is more important than ever. It is essential that every company take action to prevent, detect and respond to cyber attacks. From data analytics designed to spot threats to adequate employee training, being vigilant now may safeguard your data as well as your company’s reputation.

BDEX provides real-time data via over 700 million device ID connections and more than 900 billion data signals available through our proprietary Data Exchange Platform. Call us at 917-410-6616 or send an email to info@bdex.com to start putting this information to work for your next marketing campaign.