Once upon a time, technology didn’t exist, nor did complicated data privacy laws. Suffice to say, times have changed.

There have been a whole host of changes to the laws in relation to data and one only has to take a look at GDPR to see this in full flow. In short, the authorities have realised that technology has opened up a whole host of loopholes for cyber criminals to attack and ultimately, steal customer data.

There’s no doubt that ICT teams have more work on their hands ever before and should any breach occur, it’s they who are held responsible. To highlight some of the areas that are most commonly exposed, we have composed the following post.

The perils of payment data

There’s no doubt that the theft of customer payment data is one of the biggest fears that companies have. In short, if this gets into the wrong hands, criminals can have a field day and a full-blown crisis can occur.

Fortunately, there are ways and means around this. A lot of businesses are now turning towards a virtual merchant, which means that all of the payment data is handled securely. In short, the business themselves won’t be holding any of this information and the risk of it being stolen from them is eliminated.

It’s more than just username and passwords

Unfortunately, crooks will go as far as they can to obtain customer information – it really is that valuable. For a long time companies thought they were protected by installing a single firewall around all of their back-end databases. For a long time, this worked very well.

Unfortunately, now we are in the era of cyberattacks, this is no longer efficient. The best method to protect is to segregate each network so that if something does go wrong, it’s not going to take down the whole business. Not only that, if there is segregation between each database, it means none of the data can be linked and this immediately means that it’s nowhere near as valuable.

The powers of patching

One of the biggest loopholes that criminals expose is a lack of patch management. In other words, a company has been lazy at installing the latest version of their software, with the upshot of this being that crooks can hack into the backdoor, through exploits that have been publically revealed.

It sounds simple, and it really is. By not regularly updating your software, you are opening yourself up to a whole host of possible attacks. One of the best ways to keep on top of this is to install a patch assessment tool, which will inform you if anything goes out of date.

It can all come down to one, bad email

You can install the most advanced protection systems in the world, but everything can fall down through one bad email that an employee has mistakenly opened. This has proved to be the case in many of the most famous attacks over recent times – with a single email opening entire organizations up to ransomware and other nasty subjects.

It’s here where employees need to be educated. They need to be told about the types of emails they should be avoiding, and informing their ICT team in the process. If you don’t offer such training, there’s nothing stopping this sort of problem hitting your business.