Cybersecurity Risk Management

3 Ways to Protect Your Data with Enhanced Microsoft Data Security

Posted on December 11, 2023

Estimated reading time 7 minutes

Like clockwork, cybersecurity threats continue to evolve. Threat actors are adopting new technologies and techniques to create more effective, damaging and scalable attack methods.

For example, business email compromise (BEC) attacks pose a significant threat to organisations because they utilise two powerful attack methods: malware and social engineering. This dual-pronged approach enables criminals to avoid traditional security measures to gain access to sensitive company information, leading to potentially devastating financial and reputational losses for businesses. According to Microsoft data, BEC attacks have skyrocketed over the past year, emphasising the urgent need for organisations to take a multifaceted approach to data security – including sound knowledge of organisational threats and the right tools to maintain data security effectively.

To help you stay protected, discover our top tips for improving your cybersecurity posture. This article will outline notable cybersecurity and threat detection trends alongside three practical data-safeguarding strategies. Read on to learn more.

Across the board, businesses across all industries are facing a tougher cybersecurity landscape this year compared to last. Notably, the number of human-operated ransomware and data extortion attacks has doubled or near-doubled in the last 12 months alone.

Worse still, the average cost of a data breach has reached an all-time high of $4.45 million this year, according to IBM data. Data breaches can be especially damning for regulated industries where customer or patient data is highly sensitive and institutional reputations are so important. However, threat actors persist nonetheless, with the healthcare industry alone seeing a considerable rise in DDoS attacks in January of this year.

To combat these issues, businesses are increasingly turning to flexible platforms enabling real-time threat detection and robust incident response capabilities. Cloud-based solutions, such as Microsoft Sentinel, for example, offer several advantages, including scalability, centralised security management capabilities and automation. In addition, advanced Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platforms provide access to the latest threat intelligence updates, fostering industry-wide collaboration to mitigate emerging risks.

To further enhance their cybersecurity posture, many organisations are also investing in Zero Trust Network architectures and remote endpoint controls. Combined, these technologies allow businesses to identify and prevent attacks as they occur and reduce damage and data loss in the event of a breach.

Three easy ways to prevent data breaches and enhance your data security

If you’re looking to modernise your cybersecurity posture and prevent data breaches before they happen, here are three easy ways to enhance your data security:

1. Data classification and encryption

Data classification is an essential first-step in building a robust data security strategy. By segmenting data or devices based on their sensitivity or importance, organisations can prioritise protection for their most valuable digital assets.

For example, customer financial information should be classified as highly sensitive, with access restricted to a select group of authorised individuals who need it to perform their business-critical duties. Limiting company-wide access to sensitive information minimises the potential impact of a data breach.

In addition to data classification, data encryption plays a crucial role in safeguarding sensitive information. Encrypting data at rest and in transit mitigates a variety of different attack methods as it renders the information unreadable and unusable if it falls into the wrong hands.

For instance, encrypting customer payment information at rest ensures that hackers cannot read the information and exploit it for financial gain in the event of a breach of data storage systems. Likewise, encrypting data in transit (such as within emails or online applications) renders the information unusable if the data is intercepted as it travels across potentially insecure networks.

2. Conduct regular user training

Phishing attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and creating new problems for firms. For example, it’s now possible for cybercriminals to use AI-generated voice recordings (also known as ‘deepfakes’) to impersonate senior business leaders or trusted brands on phone calls. These attacks (known as ‘voice phishing’ or ‘vishing’) are designed to trick employees into sharing their login details on a fake website the attacker controls.

One of the most effective ways to prevent this type of social engineering threat is by hosting regular and robust user training to help employees identify behaviours that could make their business vulnerable to cyber attacks.

For example, at Atech, we provide user training and conduct simulated phishing and vishing attacks, which deploy behavioural analytics to monitor on-screen activity. This allows us to provide targeted support to users and offer timely prompts to make them reconsider whether their next action is safe.

3. Embed Microsoft data security solutions

While many potential data security solutions providers exist, none compare to Microsoft. The company monitors around 65 trillion signals every day and more than 300 unique threat groups, ranging from nation-state actors to organised criminal syndicates.

As a result, Microsoft provides unmatched insight into the current and future state of the cybersecurity landscape. The company has developed a comprehensive software ecosystem with core solutions such as Azure Information Protection, Azure Sentinel and the Microsoft 365 Security suite. These technologies deliver cutting-edge data security built atop AI-enabled threat detection analytics and leading incident response protocols.

Best of all, the Azure and Microsoft 365 solutions are 100% cloud-native, bypassing the traditional vulnerabilities of other market solutions and air-tight in-house integrations.

Discover more Microsoft data security solutions with Atech

Atech is a leading cybersecurity solutions provider and finalist in Microsoft’s 2022 Partner of the Year awards in Modern Endpoint Management.

Our pure-play Microsoft security services give you access to state-of-the-art data protection tools backed by extensive user training in Microsoft technologies. We have more than six years of experience working in industries like financial services, nonprofits and hospitality, giving us a rich understanding of the security pain points across different clients.

If you’d like to learn more about how we could help you, get in touch today.

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