Ninety per cent of large companies have suffered a data breach in the past year according to research by PwC. This is a staggering statistic and failing to acknowledge the true threat of data leaks can be costly.
The average cost of security breaches to firms is rising. For small businesses, damages could reach from £65,000 to as much as to £115,000, whilst large firms could be looking at a cost of £600,000 to £1.15m.
You may be unaware of how everyday practices are unintentionally putting you at risk. A common misconception is that data breaches only occur online. In fact, businesses must also be vigilant of their offline practices.
For example, it may be normal for employees to leave confidential documents on their desks, yet this is just one of many avoidable risks that organisations are taking on a daily basis.
By following these simple steps, you can increase your level of data security and reduce the risk of a data breach.
1. Only allow permitted individuals to access confidential data and records
2. Keep sensitive data out of sight
3. Enlist the help of a professional document storage provider. This will allow for hard and soft copies of your documents to be securely stored on or off-site for peace of mind.
4. When transporting documents, rather than physically moving documents between sites, use an online scanning system which will keep your data secure and allow access when required.
5. Ensure employees are properly trained in the handling of company data
6. Ensure staff lock their computers when they are away from their desks
7. Invest in an effective shredding service for all confidential information. Not disposing of data correctly can expose the business to potential data theft.
8. Ensure your business has a BYOD (Bring your Own Device) policy in place to avoid individuals accessing confidential data through their personal smartphone, tablet or laptop.
It is the responsibility of a business to protect itself, its employees and its customers. A failure to implement the correct procedures and structures can have devastating consequences. By keeping our top tips front of mind, the chances of a data breach will be reduced, saving the reputation of your business and the possibility of costly fines.