Proactive Data Security Measures Crucial to Prevent Unauthorized Access

Data security is the buzzword to maintain customer trust and unhindered business activity.
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Albuquerque, NM ( April 29, 2011 - Albuquerque, NM, United States - Internet has created manifold advantages and possibilities for businesses. The growth of e-commerce has allowed organizations to reach out to new markets, increase productivity, streamline decision making, avail services of diverse human capital, and easily adapt to changing customer tastes and needs. Cyber marketing has become the most convenient and rewarding way of promoting product and brand name. Internet has removed the barriers in communication between the manufacturer and the end-user. Internet technology not only enables businesses to sell their products online, but also makes easier to solicit customer feedback and preferences. As such, organizations have loads of personal and financial information related to customers. While customer databases help organizations to offer multiple products and services to customers, they also need to secure the gathered information from cybercriminals. Internet has made it easier for bad guys to use social engineering and attack toolkits to steal sensitive information related to individuals. The extracted information is misused to impersonate, conduct unauthorized transactions and numerous fraudulent activities. Therefore, data security has become the buzz word. Adoption of adequate data security mechanisms is crucial to maintain customer trust and confidence.

Data breach has severe implications for both businesses and customers. While affected customers are exposed to identity theft, phishing attacks and financial loss, data breach incidents also have adverse financial implications for businesses. The recent data breach at Sony has exposed around 70 million customers worldwide. Such massive data breach incidents attract public scrutiny and legal action. As such, organizations must have proper mechanisms in place to ensure data security. Businesses must first assess the type of data available in computer systems. Data gathered from customers may include personal identifiable information such as names, dates of birth, social security numbers, credit card information and national identification numbers. The available data must be scrutinized and only relevant data must be stored for future use. Organizations must avoid storing sensitive information such as credit card expiration date to reduce possibility of misuse. They must avoid storing any information, which is neither required by law, nor for business use. Organizations must formulate and implement necessary procedures to degauss disposable data from computer systems, hard drives and other electronic devices.

The next step would be to identify the people who have access to such data, the flow of such data and initiate steps to secure the data. Threats to data security are both internal and external. Internal threats are in the form of unauthorized access and use of social engineering techniques to extract information among others. Organizations may restrict user access and adopt proper password management practices to prevent unauthorized access. Default passwords on software products must be replaced by stronger passwords. External threats exploit vulnerabilities in information infrastructure and employee negligence among others. Employees must be guided on password management practices, safe use of social media sites use and storage of laptop devices, threats to wireless devices and cyber security tips through e-learning programs and training sessions. They may also collaborate with educational institutions to impart training on cyber security, data protection, and incident management through online degree courses.

Hiring professionals qualified in masters of security science and information security certifications could help organizations in proper assessment of threat vectors and remediating measures. IT professionals must identify and install requisite updates to IT products and devices. They must also protect computer systems, networks and e-mail services from malware and virus attacks. Installation of latest intrusion detection and prevention mechanisms could help in timely detect and respond to external intrusions.

Websites act as interface between the organization and end-user. However, websites are prone to SQL injection, i-frame injection, cross-site scripting and other security threats. As such, organizations may adhere to security guidelines issued by Internet security firms and reinforce website security in accordance with latest threats.

Organizations must also address the training needs of IT professionals. They must be encouraged to undertake security certifications, online university degree programs, and participate in security conferences to enable them to understand and combat constantly evolving cyber threats.

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EC-Council University is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and offers Master of Security Science (MSS) degree to students from various backgrounds such as graduates, IT Professionals, and military students amongst several others. The MSS is offered as a 100% online degree program and allows EC-Council University to reach students from not only the United States, but from all around the world.

EC-Council is a member-based organization that certifies individuals in cybersecurity and e-commerce skills. It is the owner and developer of 16 security certifications, including Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) and EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)/License Penetration Tester (LPT). Its certificate programs are offered in over 60 countries around the world.

EC-Council has trained over 80,000 individuals and certified more than 30,000 members, through more than 450 training partners globally. These certifications are recognized worldwide and have received endorsements from various government agencies including the U.S. federal government via the Montgomery GI Bill, Department of Defense via DoD 8570.01-M, National Security Agency (NSA) and the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS). EC-Council also operates the global series of Hacker Halted security conferences.


Tag Words: data breach, data security, cyber marketing, security, social engineering, customer database, password management, data degause, cyber security
Categories: Security

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