The Complete Guide to Data Breach Prevention and How to Protect Your Business

Security protocols should include the cyber security policies and procedures needed to help keep sensitive company information safe. Creating protocols is one of the best ways to help prevent data theft by ensuring unauthorized personnel do not have access to data. Only authorized employees should be allowed to view sensitive information. Businesses should have a clear understanding of the data that could become compromised to mitigate the risk of a cybersecurity attack.

It is possible to minimize the risk of data breaches by following a number of best practices:

▪ Encryption and data backup

Personal data should at least be encrypted, including on work laptops issued to staff. Instead of using backup tapes that can be lost or stolen, data can be backed up to remote services using the Internet.

▪ Staff training and awareness

Train staff to follow best practices, be aware of the importance of data security and how to avoid mistakes that could lead to breaches. Awareness of sensitive data and security should be a part of the company’s culture.

▪ Up-to-date Security Software

Ensure software is updated and patched regularly to avoid weak spots for hackers to exploit.

▪ Regular Risk Assessments

Carry out vulnerability assessments to review and address any changes or new risks in data protection. Consider all aspects, such as data storage and remote access for employees, and ensure that policies and procedures are adequate.

▪ Ensure vendors and partners maintain high data protection standards

When working with other companies that may be handling your customers’ data, make sure they also have adequate systems in place to protect data.

▪ Third party Data Security Evaluations

Having a third party carry out a risk evaluation allows an objective and outside view of the current breach risks. A Data Security expert can advise on the best solutions specific to each company to reduce the risk of breach. This also demonstrates a serious intention to ensure data protection.

💡 Tip:  Classifying data within an organization helps businesses understand what level of protection it requires. All data can pose a risk to a business. Use the 5 “Ws” questions – what, who, where, when and why – used by journalism professionals or police investigators to fully understand the complete story of the type of data that needs safeguarding.