Did you know that data breaches have tripled in the past five years? In fact, more than 235 million records were lost or stolen in 2017. The reality is that it only takes one data breach to devastate a business. Imagine 235 million risks taken in a single year – risks that could lead to the undermining of consumer trust or severe financial penalties.
When proactively considering how to avoid a future potential data breach, employees are your first line of defense. Proper data protection policies, protocols, and security training can make or break a business, potentially saving millions in lost revenue.
Here are five ways businesses can internally reduce the risk and cost of a data breach:
1. Educate employees on how to:
- identify common cyber-attack tactics such as phishing, ransomware or other malware (malicious software)
- avoid clicking on suspicious emails and links
- immediately report incidents
2. Implement a Shred-it All Policy for employees. Documents that are safely disposed of in Shred-it containers will help keep confidential documents out of the wrong hands. If documents are put into the garbage, rather than a secure Shred-it bin, the risk of a data breach drastically increases.
3. With many of today’s office environments allowing employees to bring their own device to work, there is an increased risk of exposing both their personal devices and the corporate network to threats. To reduce the risk of loss or theft of mobile devices, it’s important to implement a comprehensive Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and train employees to protect their devices at all times. Be sure to encrypt all company devices to add an extra layer of security.
4. Different business sectors such as finance or legal are heavily-regulated and violations are not only costly (due to significant fines), but can also lead to long-term reputational damage. Introducing employees to privacy laws that pertain to them such as the Gramm-Leach-Blilely Act (GLB Act)
and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
will help provide context to the importance of data security. Be sure to incorporate strict compliance guidelines into training.
5. There is a direct correlation in the financial sector between security awareness and customer retention. An earlier survey
showed that 12.3% of respondents left their credit unions and 28% left their banks because there was unauthorized activity on their accounts. Take a top down approach and remember to emphasize with employees the impact of data security awareness and best practices, as well as its impact on the overall bottom line.
Employees are the key to a successful and safely run business. Invest in regular employee information security training and remember that using Shred-it’s services are an easy way to mitigate potential data risks. To learn more about how Shred-it can protect your information
, fill out a form today get a free quote and security risk assessment.