Data breaches are a serious risk to businesses. Although there are plenty of best practices a business can adopt to avoid data breaches, most companies seem unprepared to deal with those incidents. The Keeper Security 2021 Cybersecurity Census Report states that nearly 92% of respondents revealed that their organization suffered a data breach in the past year. And according to a study, the fear of losing their job if a data breach is disclosed seems to make nearly two-thirds (63%) of IT leaders hide such incidents from the world. This guide provides practical tips and advice on how to protect your business from a data breach.
1. What is a data breach and why should you be concerned about them
A data breach is an unauthorized access, use, disclosure, or destruction of protected information such as customer records and credit card numbers. The data that’s been breached can be used for criminal purposes like identity theft, fraud, and more. Data breaches can happen because of hacking into computer networks or because one person simply leaves a laptop containing. A data breach is when confidential information is accessed or released without authorization.
2. The different ways that data can be breached
A data breach is typically attributed to an outside hacker, but that’s not always the case.
Often, data breaches are the result of deliberate attacks. However, it is also possible that it is the result of negligence on an individual’s part or a flaw in a company’s infrastructure.
A data breach can occur in the following ways:
- Hacking into computer networks – this is when someone breaks into a company’s network and steals or deletes data.
- Theft of physical devices – this is when someone steals laptops, hard drives, or other devices that contain data.
- Unauthorized access to information- this is when an individual obtains access to information that they’re not supposed to have, such as through social media or email hacking.
3. How to protect your business from a data breach
Data security is a huge risk when running a business. Data breaches are becoming more frequent and no business is safe. By not securing your information and network, you risk damaging your profits and reputation. On the other hand, you can significantly reduce the risk of attack with a few cost-effective security measures, such as limiting data access and ensuring sufficient monitoring. Here are some tips:
- Use strong passwords and change them regularly
- Install antivirus software and keep it up to date
- Only access information that you need
- Be vigilant about phishing attacks and other scams
- Make sure your employees are aware of the dangers of data breaches and how to protect themselves
Although the tips above are simple steps every business should follow to safeguard data, the ideal is to invest in cyber security and compliance help. You can either train your IT and legal teams or outsource help with cyber security and data protection consultants like Apex Privacy. It is a cost-effective way to ensure overall business safety while not having to hire in-house since those professionals can be costly.
4. What to do if your business has been the victim of a data breach
If your business has been the victim of a data breach, it’s important to have a plan in place for responding to it. A response plan can help you to address the issue and safeguard your business faster and efficiently. There are a number of steps you need to take. Here are some tips:
- Notify the authorities and your customers as soon as possible
- Change your passwords
- Scan your systems for malware
- Review your security procedures
- Restore your data from backups
- Have data breach response plan
Data breaches can be costly for businesses, both in terms of money and reputation. In 2021 alone, 1.862 breaches occurred, costing an average of €3.80 Million to companies. To protect your business from a data breach, you need to take serious steps to secure your data. Many companies, including those in the tech industry, lack a compliance and security program, always paying attention to those necessities only when an incident occurs.
The best way to deal with data breaches and other cyber attacks is always by preventing them, but when they occur, it is crucial to have a remediation plan in hand to avoid ruining the brand’s reputation and profit loss.
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