A data breach is an incident in which sensitive or confidential data has been accessed or disclosed in an unauthorized manner. Data breaches can be extremely problematic for any company. Whether you have a small, medium, or large business, it is important to take measures to protect your company from the possibility of a data breach. The data lost can have a similar effect on any company, regardless of size.
What Causes a Data Breach?
A study conducted by The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) suggests that 40% of all data breaches are due to external intrusions. Nowadays, networks and devices are constantly being targeted by cybercriminals. Social engineering and utilizing a third-party vendor are some of the tasks cybercriminals have accomplished in order to access sensitive data.
Social engineering is when cyber criminals manipulate people so that they give up confidential information. The OTA study revealed that 11% of data breaches occur due to social engineering. Considering the increasing amount of social engineering, 11% is a lot and is cause for concern.
Insiders Cause Data Breaches
In any company, employees are expected to protect their data. However, there is a lack of resources that provide employees with information and direction on how to protect their data. This makes it easier for employees to unknowingly leak data to an unwanted party. Moreover, malicious employees behave unethically and purposely leak sensitive information to an outside source. Something as simple as leaving a device or files unattended can lead to a data breach for a company.
When devices are lost or left unattended due to employee error, it is extremely easy for a data breach to occur. Training employees to be more mindful can be beneficial to avoid a data breach due to employee error.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Company From a Data Breach?
Now that you know what can lead to a potential data breach, there are measures that must be taken in order to ensure that your company does not fall victim to a data breach.
Increase Network Security
Pay attention to all devices that are using the company’s network. If a device is connected to the company’s network, it can be easy for the device to find sensitive data. Increasing security and monitoring usage can help your company avoid a data breach. Moreover, it is also beneficial to track applications being used by the company as well as what is accessible to clients and employees using them.
Educate and Train Employees
It is important to invest in extended training and education for employees to inform them about how to avoid a data breach and why it is important. By educating employees about phishing techniques and social engineering, they will be more aware and mindful.
To take a step further, you might even want to consider implementing a document destruction policy at your workplace. Outline for employees what items should be recycled and what items should go into a document security container for shredding. Having an official policy in place will help your business decrease the possibility of a security breach.
Secure Company Devices
Implement password protection and time out features for all company devices. A time out feature requires users to re-login to their accounts after long periods of inactivity. This is a simple step that can work to prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive and confidential information.
Only Keep Information That Is Required
Condense the information stored into what is necessary for your business. An added step to take is to minimize the number of places you store data and know where you have stored specific data. By keeping track of where data is, a data breach can easily be avoided.
Hire a Professional Company to Shred Important Documents
Simply throwing away tangible items will not prevent a data breach. It is important to physically destroy documents, CDs, DVDs, and other portable media to ensure that data is inaccessible. At South Bay Document Destruction, we ensure that your documents and all confidential information are securely eliminated.
The best thing you can do when it comes to discarding outdated and unwanted physical documents that contains sensitive information is to contact a professional shredding company. At South Bay Document Destruction, we offer a variety of services for all of your shredding needs including:
- Destruction of medical records, banking information, tax records, machinery, legal documents, and more.
- Hard drive shredding
- Records storage services