Data Breaches: How to Protect Your Business from Them

Data breaches seem to be on the rise more as we continue to progress in a digital age, but how can you safeguard your business should one ever happen to you. Below we will provide a few ways you can secure your business should it ever be impacted. However, we will explain in more detail what a data breach is.

What is a Data Breach?

A data breach is when private information is released intentionally or unintentionally into the wrong hands. Over the last few years, companies like Equifax and T-Mobile have been targets in data breaches. A consumer may have received a letter from either of these companies stating their information has been compromised in a data breach and have been provided some solutions or a quick call to action on how to avoid data breaches.  

How Do Data Breaches Happen?

According to a recent global survey, 21% of data breaches arise because an employee simply loses a device (smartphone, tablet, or laptop) that encompasses organizational data. As a result, an unintended person or persons may retrieve the data, and exploit it. Roughly 25% of data are associated with internal organizational personnel. According to some research, it is seen that 48% of internal breaches are accompanied by malicious intent, while 43% of data breaches are accidental. 9% of these types of security breaches fall into a grey zone in terms of consideration.

Over 30% of data breaches are associated with external hacking. Cybercriminals may clown their way into company databases that store social security numbers, credit card details, or other personal details. The stolen data is usually released on the “dark web”, the internet’s black market. Once the data is on the dark web, others will be adept to view and possibly purchase it for abominable use. Cybercriminals weaponize personal data to commit fraud. The remaining portion of data breaches frequently occurs due to third-party attacks or incidents.

How to Prevent Data Breaches?

As alarming as a data breach may sound, not all times have they happened on account of malicious actions. A study by IBM shows that only 52% of data breaches happen due to intentional acts, while the other 48% account for human error. Either way, it is important to have some ways to prevent data leakage to ensure personal data is always protected. Some of the ways to prevent data breaches are such as –

Proper Ways to Protect Information 

No one wants to be responsible for information falling into the wrong hands, therefore you want to ensure that you properly destroy and dispose of any confidential personal information. This means making sure you cut up, shred paperwork, or clean data off computers and other equipment if the information is held electronically. 

It is important to note that if there is any data being stored on electronic devices there should be some type of encryption or two-factor authentication set up to properly secure the data until you can wipe your device clean. 

Create a Security Plan

With the pandemic, there is a surge of more remote workers. For best practice, it might be of benefit to meet with an expert in security infrastructure who can help implement a plan to help you data leak protection and create training to help equip your employees with the information they need to make them more cognizant of safeguarding information. The security expert can also ensure that you have a backup plan in play in the case your business should ever fall victim to a data breach.  

As you train your employees it is important to teach them how to properly dispose of data, how to respond to phishing scams and malicious emails, and how to handle any suspicious activity. 

Talk with your Merchant Processor 

If your business has a merchant account, then it would be smart to get with your merchant processor to find out ways you can secure data. Most merchant accounts have encryption and two-factor authentication in place, however, the important question to ask them is how they can help your business if a data breach happens to you. 

Final Thoughts

As a business owner, there is no way to ensure that a data breach won’t ever happen to you, however, if you take proper steps to get your plan in place, you will be adept to take quick action.

If you would like more information on how to better protect your business in the case of a data breach, feel free to contact one of our 5 Star processing team members today at 888-253-9692 or [email protected].

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