August 03, 2022
As businesses continue to adopt hybrid working models, allowing workers to access sensitive paper and digital data at home, organizations are vulnerable to the threat of data breaches. In fact, Shred-it’s 2021 Data Protection Report found that 49% of the large businesses and 50% of the small businesses surveyed have experienced a data breach—the highest rates in the history of the report.
Businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to the largest enterprises, are at risk of a data breach. T-Mobile, for example, experienced a data breach in April 2021—their seventh in the past four years. To fight new and worsening data security threats, companies of all sizes should invest in strategies that help provide the best possible protection for both physical and digital information.
However, even when organizations have strong data protection measures in place, data breaches can still occur. If a company experiences a data breach, leaders should be prepared to mitigate its impact and communicate the situation to employees, customers, government leaders, and other stakeholders. Incident response plans can help ensure that staff can calmly, effectively, and appropriately respond to a data security situation.
An incident response plan is a documented, written plan for IT (Information Technology) professionals and staff, detailing procedures to detect, respond to, and limit the consequences of a malicious cyber-attack. These plans are designed to save time and reduce staff stress should a data breach occur, as it keeps all personnel aware of their assigned duties. Furthermore, without intentional plans and clearly designated tasks, companies can risk worsening the data breach incident, potentially damaging their reputations and their budgets.
Data protection education is an important component to creating an effective incident response plan. To help businesses better prepare for information security incidents, Shred-it has answered some frequently asked questions about data breaches.
A data breach is a security or privacy event in which personally identifiable information or other sensitive, confidential, or otherwise protected data has been accessed and/or disclosed by an unauthorized actor. Depending on the information involved in the breach and the company location, the company may be required by law to notify stakeholders of the breach.
Education and planning are good ways to help prevent data breaches. Businesses should run regular data security tests to understand gaps in their prevention efforts. If a breach does occur, it is important that all personnel have access to and understand the incident response plan. According to National Institute of Standards and Technology an incident response plan should include:
All organizations, no matter the size or structure, should consider having an effective incident response plan in place to mitigate threats and help maintain trust with stakeholders. With effective preparation and education, businesses can be ready to respond to data breach incidents.
Learn how Shred-it can help companies prevent and prepare for data breach incidents.