How To Minimize The Risk Of Data Breach And Improve Your Security

Key strategies to fortify your business against data breaches: robust safety strategy, data access, passwords, security training, and more.

Security is a high priority for any company, regardless of industry. A data breach can be detrimental to your business, as you may lose valuable information, which could lead to lawsuits. As a result, this can cause delays and damage your reputation.

The worst thing is that customers may lose trust in your company. Do as much as possible to prevent data breaches from occurring in the first place, helping you protect your employees and customers and allowing you to improve general security in your business. We have put together a few key actions you can undertake today to minimize the risk of tomorrow’s data breaches.

Here is a breakdown of cybersecurity and ransomware statistics in the last couple of years, and an estimation for the next years, according to Forbes:

Cyber risks concerns in 2022– Cyber incidents top the Allianz Risk Barometer for the second time (44% of responses)
– Business interruption is the second biggest concern (42%)
– Natural catastrophes rank third (25%)
Cyber attacks on company networks– External attackers can breach an organization’s network perimeter in 93% of cases
– The rise in cyberattack attempts in Q4 2021 reached an all-time high
– Cyber attacks on the healthcare sector up by 71%
Most targeted sectors by hackers– Education/research sector up by 75%
– Communications sector is up by 51%
– ISP/MSP sector up by 67%
Healthcare Cybersecurity
– Government/military sector up by 47%
Cybersecurity and SMBs– 43% of data breaches involve small and medium-sized businesses
– 61% of SMBs reported at least one cyber attack in the previous year
– 30% of small businesses consider phishing attacks as the biggest threat
– Over half of the internet-connected devices in hospitals have vulnerabilities– Healthcare ransomware attacks have resulted in longer hospital stays and poor outcomes
– Over half of internet-connected devices in hospitals have vulnerabilities
Cybersecurity and IoT devices– IoT devices experience an average of 5,200 attacks per month
Ransomware statistics– Ransomware cost the world $20 billion in 2021, expected to rise to $265 billion by 2031
– 37% of all businesses and organizations were hit by ransomware in 2021
– Recovering from a ransomware attack cost businesses $1.85 million on average in 2021
– 32% of ransomware victims pay the ransom and only get 65% of their data back
– Only 57% of businesses successfully recover their data using a backup
Table 1: statistics on data breaches, cybersecurity, and ransomware

Develop A Robust Safety Strategy

You can start by developing a robust safety strategy to share with your team. Remember, data breaches can happen in many different ways, so be prepared and explore best practices you can implement in your day-to-day operations. An actionable process begins with outlining the steps you will take in case of a data breach. They will help you understand the potential damage that you may suffer as an employer, so you can take action to limit lost productivity and figure out exactly how you will inform your employees and customers about it.

Get Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance can help you protect your business when a mistake has been made in the professional services provided to a customer. Regarding data breaches, your business may lose personally identifiable information, which can lead to financial loss. The Hartford is a leading insurance provider that offers errors and omissions insurance, which is the best solution to cover claims of negligence, misrepresentation, omissions, and other errors in a given service. These liability claims can be expensive, so looking into getting professional liability insurance is important.

Restrict Access To Critical Data

World-like globe behind a screen filled with zeros and ones, as in digital data

If too many people have access to critical data, this can increase the risk of a data breach. Anyone who can log in and access personal information is a potential vulnerability. Therefore, you may want to consider how you can limit access to this data. It might be beneficial to restrict the number of employees allowed to view certain documents. For example, you can create user roles with different access levels to your systems. You can also choose not to store certain data types, such as credit card details.

Encourage Employees To Set Up Strong Passwords

Password security has been a trend since the dawn of the Internet era and has not changed much. Encourage employees to set up strong passwords and change them regularly to make it more difficult for hackers to break into your internal systems. When creating new passwords, advise employees to utilize combinations of lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Include multi-factor authentication for extra protection.

Provide Security Awareness Training

Educate employees about the importance of safety in the workplace. Conduct quality security awareness training, and schedule regular training sessions, as one or two a year might not be enough. Employees should be able to recognize suspicious activity, as this is the first step to preventing them from opening links that can be potentially harmful. Inform employees regularly about the current and most common cybersecurity threats so that they can stay vigilant. Always keep your office door open, and let them know they can ask for advice if uncertain about anything.

Learn More About Data Breaches

Never stop learning about data breaches, as things are constantly changing. New threats are coming up every day, so you should take the time to learn more about your company’s risks. To learn new techniques, attending security-dedicated workshops and signing up for online courses can be a good idea when dealing with cyber threats. It is true: not everybody wants to discuss data breaches and the damage they can cause. Still, we advise understanding them better and learning how to tackle security-related issues in the future.

Work With Security Experts

Sometimes it may be best to work with experts who can help you find the right solutions. They provide new ideas and strategies to incorporate into your daily operations. Security experts can offer feedback on your current data breach response plan and suggest ways that you can improve it. For best results, consider outsourcing and connecting with experienced developers who can assist you in ensuring your data is safe. Ask them any questions you may have and share your concerns.

Ensure Software Is Updated

To prevent security issues, check that all application software is up-to-date; otherwise, you may risk your data. Laptops, tablets, and other devices will run smoothly so that you will minimize security vulnerabilities in your system. The updates will also come with improved features, which can further increase efficiency and a better end-user experience. Outdated systems and lack of investment in newer technology can also cause employees frustration.

Re-Evaluate Your Processes

There isn’t a single data security strategy that can protect you against all threats. Things will continue to change as your business grows and you hire new people. Re-evaluate your processes regularly to adapt, as hackers and cybercriminals are unlikely to stop looking for new ways to take advantage of your systems. There are many great security practices and approaches that you may want to add, and to stay protected, consequently, audit your processes.