If you’ve woken up in a cold sweat one night with an unshakable fear that your business will suffer a security breach, you’ve got a good reason. Over 50% of small businesses suffer some form of a security breach during their time of operation, and they can be devastating and often hard to detect. When you have a global brand to protect and secure, it falls on you to keep your data safe, Criminals are getting smarter, and even large corporations with entire security departments are often subject to security breaches. Social media and common web sources make the internet a prime target to create a backdoor to your data. The good news is that there are ways to detect security breaches, and we’ve put together a list of 5 common indicators that you have a problem.
1) Slow Computers
Outdated software is one thing, but if your computer suddenly slows down severely, you might have a serious problem. It’s easier to infect a machine than a network, so often criminals will go for the lower hanging fruit. If your machine suddenly slows down and closing programs doesn’t help, contact a security specialist.
2) Unusual or High Outbound Traffic
If your network suddenly has a high surge in traffic, that’s a concern. A sudden high volume of traffic could mean an unusual amount of uploads, which could be internal data being sent where it shouldn’t. Make sure to monitor your traffic patterns – small surges on busy weeks are fine, but any unusual traffic should be looked into immediately.
3) Locked User Accounts
While everyone forgets their passwords from time to time, being suddenly locked out is never a good thing. Many security systems will automatically shut down if something suspicious begins happening, so if users are being locked out with no warning it could be a sign of something serious.
4) Unusual File Changes
File changes can happen in a matter of minutes, even to large companies such as Verizon (who recently underwent a large security breach). Critical files are often altered by criminals in a way to steal important data or even distract you from a more serious issue. If files begin changing with no warning or you can’t pinpoint who is making the changes, don’t brush it off.
More advanced than the annoying ‘you’ve won a brand new TV’ pop-ups of the past, Internet pop-ups can be a major issue. They’re usually indicative of a form of malware that’s been put on the computer, but can also be used as a distraction to try to get you to click them and grant unauthorized access to your computer. Prevent this by making sure your IT department is aware of any issues that pop up.
Although this isn’t a comprehensive list, these are some very easily detectable ways to find out if you have a security breach in your company. These issues should never be taken lightly, and it’s important to take preventative measures whenever possible. Hiring a company that specializes in data security may help cut off issues before they even start.