How to Avoid a Data Breach
What is a Data Breach?
A data breach is an incident in which sensitive or protected data has been viewed, stolen or used by an unauthorised user. There are many different types of data breaches, including viewing or theft of personal health records, identity information, trade secrets or intellectual property, among others. One of the most common instances of a data breach is an unauthorised person hacking into a corporate network to steal sensitive information.
What Data Breach Does to Your PC
If hackers are able to penetrate your computer’s security, they can potentially access a treasure trove of personal information. In the event of a data breach, hackers can access everything from your email accounts to bank and credit card details, to company trade secrets. If left undetected, an unauthorised user can become administrator of your PC; seeing everything you do online and even controlling your PC.
Avoiding Data Breaches
While it may seem a losing battle, there are practical steps you can take to protect your company from potentially costly, dangerous data breaches. These include:
Don’t Rely on Encryption
Encrypting data is a fantastic protective mechanism, but when relied upon exclusively, it can lull your company into a false sense of security. While the majority of data breaches are reported and appropriately dealt with, encryption can fail, resulting in the theft of sensitive company information.
Stay Up-to-Date on Security Trends
A “patch” is tech-speak for a security update. While updates may seem like a nuisance, an unpatched PC is operating with a weak spot, leaving it vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Although applying patches will take time and resources, they are vital to the online security of any small or large business.
Perform Regular Vulnerability Assessments
Business models and operations are in a state of constant change, so your security must reflect these changes to stay effective. To determine whether you have opened yourself up to new risks and liabilities, you can conduct an internal company audit, as well as engage specialised external resources. These preventative measures will ensure your confidential information is inaccessible to outsiders.
Remove the Data – Remove the Risk
Businesses collect extensive amounts of digital data and some of the time it is important to keep this information. In any business, there are invariably records that you no longer need. Once it becomes unnecessary to store, confidential data goes from being an asset to a liability. Consider technology destruction services and even paper shredding for all your hard copy documents. This prevents data breaches on two levels – both digital and physical.
Invest in Staff Training
Perhaps the most effective preventative measure is investing in regular staff training. When done correctly, end user security awareness training can change the company culture to become more security-minded. Training employees will eliminate many common mistakes that could lead to a breach, as well as helping them spot suspect behaviour.
Sadly, almost all businesses can fall victim to data breach. To ensure it doesn’t happen to you, call Brisbane’s commercial shredding experts today. With one-off and corporate document destruction, on-site shredding services and more, Shred Easy makes it easier than ever to avoid data breach.