According to the 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study by Ponemon Institute, data breaches are costing UK organisations an average of £2.48 million. This is a slight decrease from 2016 (£2.53 million), which suggests that UK businesses have begun to make changes to minimise the chance of financial loss following a data breach. However, while this study is slightly promising, it is vital that businesses continue to make improvements to ensure they are doing all they can to protect personal information and prevent data breaches.
According to the 2016 Data Security Incident Response Report, the six top causes of data breaches are:
- 31% Phishing/Hacking/Malware
- 24% Employee Action/Mistake
- 17% External Theft
- 14% Vendor
- 8% Internal Theft
- 6% Lost or improper disposal
With that in mind, here are our 5 top tips to help you minimise the chance of a data breach:
The second top cause of data breaches is down to employee error and it could be argued that phishing/malware incidents could be attributed to human error too. Ensuring your employees (and management) fully understand the potential cyber security risks to your organisation is vital for preventing a breach. Because new threats are likely to be occurring daily, regular education is essential, as well as ensuring your cyber security policies and procedures are up to date and being implemented.
- The less data, the better!
One of the biggest ways to minimise the risk is to limit data availability. This can be done by restricting the access individuals have to data, not collecting information that isn’t relevant to your business, reducing the number of places where data is physically stored and by purging data often.
- Update software regularly
Software companies are constantly providing updates to ensure that their programmes are secure for use. Vulnerabilities in software can occur, so it is important you’re installing any patches and updates to make sure that these vulnerabilities do not impact your business operations.
- Ensure 3rd parties meet your standards
If you’re working with 3rd parties, you need to ensure they also have the correct security procedures and regulations in place, and meet your standards. This is because if any client data is breached because of their error, you’ll be held accountable too.
- Prepare for the worst
As we all know, mistakes happen and even with the right preparations in place, risks can never be fully mitigated. If the worst does happen, having an already established disaster management plan ensures your team have a full understanding of their role and can help to prevent the breach from growing.
Worried about your data security?
If you would like to talk to us about enhancing the security of your computer systems and your business, contact our team on 0800 9520652.