What is a data breach & how can your business prevent it?
Data breaches is affecting millions of users, both staff and customers. It is important for businesses and their staff to understand exactly what it is and the steps they can take to prevent it.
What is a data breach, and what causes it?
A data breach is when confidential, protected, or sensitive information has been exposed or accessed by an unauthorized person. In short, this is when files are shared or viewed without the owner’s permission.
Anyone, from customers who use your services, your staff, and high-level governors are all at risk of a data breach. Companies that aren’t protected and taking the right steps towards looking after the information they hold are putting others at risk.
Most commonly, data breaches are caused by unsecure technology and incorrect user behaviour.
For example, if a member of staff goes to take their lunch without locking their computer first, this could be putting potential client and company information at risk. Another example would be a company failing to install the latest protection software on their computers and not blocking or reporting any unusual emails or links.
How can this be prevented?
There are multiple ways that you can keep data breach risks to a minimum, such as:
Providing ALL members of staff with the right training.
Employees within all aspects of the company should be fully trained on data protection. When staff are thoroughly trained with the correct information and are compliant, there is less chance for a data breach to slip through the net. Ensure that you are regularly updating your staff and their training in accordance with new government legislations surrounding data.
Teach your staff about the importance of keeping passwords, laptops, key cards and fobs out of anyone else’s reach, as well as how to correctly handle and dispose of company and customer data.
Be sure to regularly test staff abilities with set-up phishing emails and record your findings. This way, you will know if there’s room for additional training.
Keep your software and insurance up to date.
Updating your security software when recommended, as this will help to remove and block any potentially intrusive malware on your company devices.
It’s also important to ensure that you have the highest level of technology insurance provided by a trustworthy supplier will cover you in the event of technology sector risks.
Block unnecessary content
Block any links, email addresses, or programmes that you think may be of a malicious source and are of no use to the company. Social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram should also be blocked to avoid the temptation of sharing of any details during company working hours.
Use a VPN
A VPN will provide a secure connection between yourself and the internet through an encrypted ‘tunnel’. This means that when staff activate the VPN, their computer IP address will be disguised and protected against any external attacks that could use this information against the company.