Three simple ways to prevent a data breach

With methods of cybercrime rapidly evolving, the number of headline-making data breaches continues to grow. Unfortunately, it has become clear that even advanced security measures can be easily bypassed and traditional defensive mindsets have proven to be inefficient.

Companies are realizing the need to develop new security frameworks that will help them be more effective in fighting against cybercrime. The new trend in the IT industry suggests that companies need to eliminate blind spots in the IT environments and obtain access to actionable audit data about all processes that might impact security.

Netwrix recommends three steps that will allow companies to achieve deep and pervasive visibility across all IT infrastructure levels and address security issues:

1. Ensure that changes are documented
According to the 2015 State of IT Changes Survey, 70% of companies underrate the importance of documenting changes, which puts most critical IT systems at risk of security violations and downtime. The main key to visibility across the entire IT infrastructure is to keep a complete audit trail of system activities and changes made.

Remember that the human factor is always a pain point in security and consider thorough documentation of user activity as a solution to reduce the risk of employees’ inadvertence or negligence.

2. Control access to sensitive data
The central component of security is knowing your data and who has access to it. Since privilege abuse remains the hardest to detect violation, restrict access to your most valuable assets only to those who need it and keep an eye on users with extended privileges.

Any suspicious activity should raise questions and lead to a thorough investigation. This simple procedure will not only eliminate the risk of data leaks but restore order in permissions, reduce human errors and improve overall system performance.

3. Audit and evaluate your environment continuously
Auditing procedures are of little value if they are done only occasionally. Continuous auditing of user activities and changes made to data and system configurations helps to avoid critical mistakes that might potentially damage security and service uptime.

Analytics built upon this knowledge helps to detect security incidents and find the root cause of each violation. In addition, continuous monitoring provides irrefutable proof that your security policies are in place and always have been), which is very handy when needing to pass compliance audits.

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