Data breaches can be costly to a business, large or small. Every year, companies suffer an estimated average of 16,856 attacks, many of which result in breaches in sensitive data. When these breaches occur, companies are stuck holding the bill for a lot of repairs- the two biggest cost being reputation and brand management (29% of expenditures) and lost productivity (21% of expenditures).
It is often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is absolutely true for data protection as well. There are several measures a business can take to minimize the risk of a breach in their IT systems.
- When assessing for security breach risks, look beyond the company’s IT systems. Analyze employee exit procedures, data storage methods offsite, protocols for mobile projects, etc.
- Establish a disaster recovery plan that outlines the exact procedures and policies in the event of a data breach. This helps minimize the cost of lost productivity and lets consumers know that the business is prepared to deal with the worst case scenario.
- Make educating your employees about handling and protecting sensitive data an ongoing project. According to Safeware, almost 30% of data loss happens due to human error.
- Minimize the amount of data your company holds onto- thieves cannot steal what isn’t there. Don’t collect unnecessary information, and reduce the number of copies that are made of that data. Restrict access to the only the employees who need to have it, and purge the data once you don’t need it anymore.
- Hire a 3rd party IT systems and security expert to help analyze your company’s level of risk. It is important that they are from outside the company as they will be able to take an objective, clear look at your security systems and recommend a plan of action based on their professional opinion.
If you have other advice on protecting your systems, we’d love to hear it! Leave a comment.