Avoid Data-Driven Cyber Attacks By Avoiding These 5 File Sharing Errors

File sharing habits that can cripple your business

Big data has made cyberattacks more frightening than ever. A growing number of hackers have started using big data to orchestrate new cyberattacks, which can be incredibly damaging.

You need to be aware of the risks of security breaches in the age of big data. You should avoid common mistakes that hackers can exploit with machine learning tools in their arsenal of weapons.

Avoiding File Sharing Mistakes is More Important than Ever in the Big Data Era

Michelle Moore, the Academic Director of the Master of Science in Cyber Security Operations and Leadership of the University of San Diego recently talked about the double-edged sword of big data in the context of cybersecurity. Dr. Moore points out that big data has created both new opportunities and risks for fighting cyberattacks.

You need to be aware of the risks of sharing files carelessly in a world governed by big data. Big data has made file sharing more dangerous than ever, since more hackers use machine learning to dupe their targets.

Whatever the case, sending and receiving files is a routine part of every business day. According to the Ponemon Institute, 35% of data breaches are caused by the “human factor.” This means that the mistakes and negligence of employees are very likely to open doors for hackers. Thus, if your employees do not share files properly, your business will be vulnerable. Here are some wrong file-sharing practices and mindsets that should not be tolerated.

Wrong Email Use

While email does a lot of good, it’s one of the riskiest platforms for business. Consider the following statistics: 91% of all cyber attacks start with an email and it would cost you at least $100,000 to recover from a phishing attack. All it takes is one misstep from an employee and your company is exposed. That’s why emails should not be used to transfer sensitive data. Even if they are used, there should be encryption.  

Fortunately, big data has offered new security solutions for email. However, it is still best to find a less risky option for sharing data.

Using Consumer-Grade Solutions

Unfortunately, some small businesses resort to consumer-grade solutions to run their business. This practice is risky as it exposes the entirety of business to attacks. With Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and the use of personal level file-sharing services, like Dropbox and Google Drive accounts becoming more popular, businesses are more vulnerable to hackers. 

That’s why businesses should only use enterprise or business-grade solutions. This should be done with authorization from your IT department or IT personnel. These solutions often come with higher security and enhanced features to secure customer and business data.

Lack of Clear Policies and Training

When a person gets employed, they are usually given a computer or workspace, a company email address and that’s about it. However, in a complex world full of hackers looking for the next loophole, employees should be properly informed and trained on how to be secure. Such training should be done over and over until security consciousness becomes second nature. 

There should be a clear-cut policy regarding how company data is handled. Many companies are joining the zero-trust network strategy where no one inside or outside is trusted. Others opt to use security-enhanced online faxing services. For example, eFax lets you fax online through their encrypted servers when you want to send sensitive information. Others are implementing an advanced firewall, encryption, and multi-factor authentication. 

USB Devices

USB devices or flash drives are increasingly becoming more obsolete. However, there are still companies that use them often. These devices are often riskier because they bypass established network security. 

If infested with a virus or malware, flash drives can quickly infect a whole system, particularly for systems that are designed to autorun. That’s why such drives should be used cautiously and only by approved personnel. Encryption should also be adopted. 

P2P File Sharing

For individuals, peer-to-peer sharing may seem like a good idea, but for businesses, it’s not. P2P technology allows other computers and users to gain access to yours. In many cases, depending on your permissions, P2P users may gain access to all your files. It is one of the easiest ways for malware attacks. As a business, you should avoid this type of solution and train your employees to avoid such software. 

Big Data Requires Greater Prudence with File Sharing

Big data advances are changing the art of file sharing. Your data is gold. If malicious people gain access to it, they can cripple your business. That is why you should take steps to ensure that files are sent and received properly. Listed above are five bad practices that should be avoided to keep your data safe. Ensure that your business avoids such practices to keep safe.

Ryan Kh
Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Email: ryankh14@icloud.com