Data Security Flaws You Should Not Commit
Any company is likely to fail data security regardless of its size. Want an example? Even major players in the market, such as Amazon, Google and Yahoo, have already been affected by virtual attacks and stealth data leakage.
Not coincidentally, at least eight of the ten most common data security flaws are present in the corporate world, according to a study by the Center for Advanced Systems and Studies in Recife.
In this context, it is easy to understand the importance of strengthening data security in your company. Want to know how? Here are the 6 most common faults and understand how to prevent them:
1. Leak of sensitive information
Having confidential information - about internal strategies, customers and partners, for example - exposed on the internet can be a great harm to companies, be it financial or to the reputation of the brand in the market.
Leaked sensitive information can occur in a number of ways, but it is often the result of an organization's invasion by third parties. From there, attackers can leak user information or even open a doorway to malicious code on the system.
But how to avoid this? A good start is to classify the data according to its confidentiality and value to the organization, and then store it on servers with different levels of protection.
2. Bad management of access credentials
Anyone who obtains administrator access credentials could compromise your company's system, right? Therefore, keep strict control over these credentials and only use them in special situations, avoiding leaving them in the hands of inexperienced employees.
One tip is to map the use of sensitive data in your business by documenting how data moves through the system and who is responsible for access credentials. This way, you will have a more global view on the value data and what are the possible risks to information security.
3. Encryption failures
Encryption failures are especially damaging to a company's information security because, in general, the primary function of encryption is to protect sensitive data.
So, always prefer to leave the management of cryptographic keys and passwords in the hands of professionals trained to deal with the subject.
The most common cryptographic problems in organizations are:
- difficulties in understanding the methods and standards of encryption best suited to the needs of the company;
- absence of encryption on mobile devices used to access the enterprise system;
- sharing of encrypted data outside the company (via e-mail, for example);
- insufficient protection on desktops and notebooks used by employees;
- reporting access to protected files.
4. Access to social networks
Beyond procrastinating on social networks, your employees may be effectively leaking sensitive company data without realizing it.
This can occur in a variety of ways, either by posting private information to personal profiles or by causing vulnerabilities in online applications to penetrate corporate networks.
Another detail is that many smaller applications accessed through Facebook, usually developed by companies or individuals of dubious credibility, can also offer threats to your company's information security.
But not all threats are external: according to a study by Cyber-Ark Software, one-third of IT professionals interviewed admitted to spying on the corporate network, accessing sensitive data such as salary details, personal e-mails, and minutes of board meetings, for example.
Therefore, the best way out is to strengthen the layers of corporate network protection and establish a set of security rules for employees, specifying best practices for using company tools and systems. After all, many data security flaws have as their main cause the misuse of virtual tools.
5. Inefficient protection on mobile devices
While the use of smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the workplace may have increased employee flexibility and productivity, it also poses a growing risk to information security.
The reason for this is simple: as corporate access points increase, keeping track of the vectors of vulnerability becomes an increasingly complex task.
And these multiple access points can serve as gateways to attacks on the corporate network. One possible route of entry, for example, is to use smartphones or USB devices to gain access to desktops and the business network via Wi-Fi.
In this case, it is imperative that companies also extend their security policies to the mobile devices used by employees, setting password and locking controls, adopting defense technologies, and even monitoring the reputation of certain mobile devices and applications.
6. Invasions and external attacks
When a user uses his or her organization's network to download, click on malicious links, or even open phishing emails, it is contributing to the entry of malware and other types of virtual traps into the system.
In addition, business devices that are not properly protected by antivirus, firewalls, and cryptographic applications are more vulnerable to intrusions and external attacks.
An example of an attack, though not as common, is CRLF Injection. Basically, it consists of inserting a CRLF sequence at the end of an HTTP line, allowing the attacker to manipulate the functions of a web application. This includes: getting access to the user's browser, removing pages from the air and performing cross-site scripting, for example.
Cross-site scripting (XXS), in turn, is a vulnerability caused by failures in user input parameters and in the application server response on the web. In practice, an attacker runs their code inside the company's website, and can modify HTML document sessions, steal user accounts and control the victim's browser, among other possibilities.
Therefore, to ensure the security of the business system, you can follow some guidelines:
- develop a robust protection strategy that applies to the organization as a whole;
- demonstrate to the business sector the strategic importance of addressing sensitive data with the right technologies, procedures and policies, as well as producing reports;
- upgrade the IT industry and consider hiring experts who can handle the latest threats to the infrastructure and security of the enterprise system.