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One of the most dangerous threats to your business in 2018 is a data leak. Hackers can sell your information on the black market or simply destroy it. This could ruin your business overnight if you are not careful. So, you should use the best practices below to ensure you avoid leaks in 2018.


If you haven’t trained your people on phishing yet, now is the time. Phishing is a major threat to every company in the world. The way it works is sneaky but powerful.

A variant of phishing, called spear phishing, involves the cyber criminal sending emails to targeted people within your organization. The hacker pretends to be someone that your employee would have contact with. This could be a member of your lending bank, an investor, or another employee in the company. Within the email, there is commonly a link that activates JavaScript. This uses your email system in order to hack your data and steal or destroy it.

The reason this works so well and is so dangerous is because the email addresses can be spoofed. It may even look exactly like the authentic email. Therefore, training is important.

Teach your team to avoid clicking on any links in emails that seem suspicious. If they do want to look at a link, make sure all security software is active so it can prevent the threat. This will save you time, money and the danger of lost data.

IT Personnel

Without the right people, you cannot protect your data in the best way. Your IT staff should all be certified in the hardware and software that you use. Make sure they are trustworthy by running background checks on each person you hire, even if is a short-term hire. That is because one of the biggest threats comes from within your company.

The first type of insider threat is an employee who does not know what they are doing. They will make mistakes in coding the network’s security and cost you all of your data from that mistake. The second kind of person who can leave you vulnerable internally is an employee who is not happy. Whether it is because they are not paid as much as they would like, not liked, or not performing well, they may wish to get revenge on your company by leaking your data.

Make sure you perform evaluations to make sure that all employees are both qualified and satisfied, so you don’t have these issues.

Network Monitoring

Network monitoring is one of the best ways to ensure your data does not leak. Each database, server and device on your network sends and receives data. If you are not monitoring, it is impossible to know if you have a leak.

However, if you keep an eye on it, you can step in and respond to a potential leak before it is too late. Managed detection and response providers can be found that you can hire for this function of your security.

Data Dumps

You should not keep all of your data on hand at all times. When you are done processing a certain piece of data, download it offline and “dump” it so you clear up your network. This also prevents you from holding all of your data in one place and making it tempting to get hacks.

This is one of the dangers that hospitals face. With so many patient records, hackers target them because of the potential value on the black market of that data.

Every business must take the right steps to protect their data. If you don’t, you could end up with a financial or customer disaster on your hands. Use the best practices above to protect your secrets, customer information and reputation.


Rick-DelgadoAbout the Author: Rick Delgado is a freelancer tech writer and commentator. He enjoys writing about new technologies and trends, and how they can help us. Rick occasionally writes for several tech companies and industry publications.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this and other guest author articles are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Tripwire, Inc.