A data breach is bad news no matter how big or small the degree of the breach.

But a breach is a breach no matter how big or small and there are steps that should be taken in the event a breach takes place. However, reacting is only part of the process.

Good responses to data breaches make it clear that there have been measures put in place to mitigate the risk.

“The impact of a data breach can have long-term effects on both the financial and reputational state of an organization. Despite this, some still do not have the security solutions in place that are required to effectively defend modern, digital environments from data breaches,” says regional sales director for Fortinet, Doros Hadjizenonos.

“Organizations must deploy solutions and adopt certain strategies designed to work together to protect critical data and assets from being compromised or stolen,” the sales director adds.

So what can a business do to protect itself from data breaches?

The Fortinet sales director says that it starts with good security hygiene practices.

“It may come as a surprise that a majority of data breaches are caused by threats that have been around for weeks, months, or, in some cases, even years. In fact, most of the attacks being detected in the wild today target vulnerabilities that organizations have had the opportunity to patch for at least three years,” explains Hadjizenonos.

Part of good hygiene means starting on a level playing field and that means updating and patching all devices before implementing an update and patching policy.

It’s at this point that devices should also be properly segmented as regards network access. While this is important now more than ever given more employees are working from home, network segmenting can also reduce the risk for an entire network by limiting how much damage an errant download may cause.

Threat intelligence is also rather vital as it gives security teams a clearer picture of the sort of threats out there.

As regards intelligence, signature-based detection tools can assist when networks are too big for human eyes to manage. This detection is particularly important for companies making use of the Internet of Things and those with vast networks spanning various branches,

Building off of that, behavioural analytics can provide a way for security teams to react to potential threats more easily.

“For those threats that do not have a recognizable signature, organizations must employ advanced threat protection solutions such as sandboxes and User Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) tools. Since most threat actors also have the ability to learn and mimic legitimate traffic patterns to evade protection, security tools need to do more than just look for low-hanging malware,” explains Hadjizenonos.

Sandboxes are an interesting mention here. The sales director explains that use of a sandbox allows a team to employ data sanitisation strategies which can further help to mitigate risks.

It should be clear from Fortinet’s advice that addressing a data breach begins long before a breach even occurs.

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