How to protect your business from data breaches
Whether you call them hackers, cyber criminals, or digital delinquents, there are people out there who can put your business's online livelihood at risk.
Fortunately, there are also a number of ways your management team can avoid security breaches and keep your digital domain safe and sound.
When it comes to defending your data, here are a handful of reasons why data security is so important for your business:
Security breach statistics
Massive online security breaches at major corporations seem to make breaking news every day. Whether it's a virus that plagues an entire business or data breaches that expose sensitive customer information, security issues are happening more often than not in today's world.
In fact, according to a report from the New York Times, there were more than 600 confirmed data breaches in 2013 alone ranging from small businesses to worldwide corporations. Additionally, there were a whopping 47,000 other company breaches that were defined as minor "security threats."
The major businesses that made headlines, like Target and eBay, only scratch the surface of the problem. No business is too large or small to be the target of a data security breach and there are a number of security threats on the horizon.
Before the following threats scare you into submission, it's important to remember that security and usability must meet in the middle, as the following article “Data Protection and Privacy: Balancing Security and Usability” shows.
Taking the appropriate security measures doesn't mean your employees can longer bring their personal devices to work. Likewise, it doesn't mean your staff has to jump through encrypted password hoops just to gain access to the system. Vigilance is the key to a secure network and safe data.
As the popularity of cloud computing takes over the business world, more and more hackers are turning their sights toward the cloud. Cloud databases are growing with each new business, which gives cyber criminals an opportunity to slip through the ever-growing cracks.
Protecting your business's cloud data means making sure your service provider is taking all the appropriate security measures for even the most sophisticated threats. When it comes to the cloud, your service provider is your business's first line of defense.
Socially engineered attacks
If your business is active on social media, then you need to take social safety measures as well. Hackers are scouring social networks looking for any signs of information they can use to gain further access into a business's online world. This involves hacking into your employees' social accounts to retrieve information from personal messages.
In addition, some cyber criminals are falsely approaching other employees on social media with the hopes they'll divulge information about the company.
Something cyber criminals have learned over the years is that persistence goes a long way when it comes to data breaches. Known as advanced persistent attacks, hackers are entering business networks via software programs and slowly stealing data a little at a time.
These persistent attacks target popular office software programs like Microsoft Office. Anytime the program is in use, hackers are able to retrieve data from the system undetected. Updating and running anti-viral software regularly will help your business detect and eliminate this threat.
If your company is taking a relaxed approach to its data security, then hopefully the threats above make you reconsider your security measures.
Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including cyber security and business.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.