Data Breaches are Getting More Sophisticated, Here’s How You Can Keep Up

With the endless cyber crimes we are dealing with hundreds of personal data pieces being breached and stolen, one might find it tempting to give up on data security altogether. Some people might even go for the extreme and give up on their online presence entirely to protect themselves. Leaving things to luck is not an answer, nor going offline forever. Sometimes, it is scary to leave social security numbers, credit card information, addresses, passwords, and many other pieces of personal data to be vacuumed by big corporations without even our knowledge. 

Encryption is not the magical answer to this equation. It has been agreed on by consumers and corporates as the public favorite but recently it seems that this is just an illusion to make people feel more confident in sharing personal data and doing online transactions without any real proof. On the contrary, all the facts point to how encryption recently has been failing us. Still, there are some top quality innovative secrets to protect us against data breaches and hackers, here are some of them. 

Breaching Outdated Systems

Trying to control the security of all your information is frustrating. Sometimes, it even does more harm than good and distracts you from focusing on what’s important. This is why the better approach is to simplify your plan and focus on the pieces of information you need to protect the most. Start by covering the most important grounds by using the simplest trick in the book, which is keeping your software up to date. With every new malicious code and discovered loophole, software companies update their system to block any attack that might take advantage of it. This is why making sure that your software is updated with the most recent version will fix any pre-existing vulnerabilities and malware in applications that might compromise your security. 

Exploiting Server Vulnerabilities

Sometimes the best defense is an offense. Penetration testing is a very smart technique that depends on hiring professional cybersecurity consultants that try to simulate the environment of a malicious hacker trying to gain access to your servers and websites. They do this by finding vulnerabilities that hackers may discover, which compromise the security of your servers. Pen testing involves the ethical hacking of various application systems like APIs and servers. They mainly look for areas of user input that can be attacked through vulnerabilities by using code injection. The final results of the penetration test are quite useful because it can give you an overview of the overall security of the company in the digital world. 

Guessing Passwords

This is one of the most commonly used methods to gain access to data. It is far from new, but it’s still progressing at an alarming rate that makes it a critical vulnerability that should be taken care of in a swift manner. The definition of a strong password is a bit complicated because people were divided on what makes a formidable password. At first, people thought that a complex password filled with numbers and random signs meant that the password was very strong. New research suggests that the strength of the password is dependent on its length. The main idea behind it was that short passwords are easier to guess and sometimes brute-force, which is a computer-based attempt at trying all possible combinations of a certain digital pattern. It can sometimes get hard remembering different long passwords, but you can still choose something that you can easily recall.

Bypassing Verification

A lot of malicious software and hackers try to simulate the environment of authentication to gain access to your accounts. This can be done through phishing, social engineering, or many different approaches related to black hat hacking. The best way to shut the door against such attempts is by using 2-FA, short for ‘two-factor authentication’. This is commonly used by most digital secure apps; it can be a code generated every 30 or 60 seconds, physical USB plugin, or many other varieties. This process is quite straightforward and it’s easy to teach to employees in a company. It removes the risk of having a hacker finding out a username and a valid password, especially if it changes automatically after a certain time limit. 

There is no near end in sight to when data breaches are going to cease. As hackers are sharpening their tools and cybersecurity experts racking up defenses, it’s important to remain a proactive defender of your privacy amidst the ongoing war. Staying up to date with the latest security updates and malicious data breaching attempts is going to help you and your business stay as secure as possible.

Yuri Pustjens
About the Author

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Windows
Yuri specializes in troubleshooting (crash analysis and devices), system resource utilisation and system performance. He is also very interested in Customer Security. Yuri can be found as Windows Community Moderator and Wiki Author on Microsoft Answers and is active on different communities all across the web.

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