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5 Ways To Ensure Data Security

According to the Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM, in 2020 UK businesses spent about £2.9 billion recovering from data security incidents, which included email and phishing scams, device theft and cyber-attacks, with malware being the costliest.

Moreover, the research found that organisations take 280 days on average to detect and respond to an incident, and shortening the process to 200 days can save about £750,000.

As far as the repercussions of a data breach are concerned, from damaged reputation to the loss of customers, business disruption and revenue losses, data security issues have a major impact on a business. With this in mind, here are our 5 top tips to ensure data security…

Train Employees to Catch a Phish

According to Sophos, end-users are the weakest link, opening 30% of phishing emails. Moreover, with phishing emails having six times the click-through rate of genuine marketing emails, how can you ensure employees know the difference between genuine and phishing emails?

Train, test and educate employees on how to spot malicious emails, especially those that contain attachments. Don’t forget to inform them how to keep passwords strong and varied for maximum protection.

7 Top Tips To Spot Malicious Emails >

Form a cyber-security plan

Relying on passwords and training alone to protect your data might not be enough. According to Risk Based Security Research, passwords were leaked in about 65% of breaches in 2019.

Therefore, this should only form part of your strategy. Consider your access point security including multifactor authentication and role-based access control to help you manage who has access to data and what areas they have access to.

Ensure Secure Access

According to the Office for the National Statistics, In April 2020, 46.6% of people in employment did some work at home, with 86% of those did so as a result of the pandemic.

While the rapid shift to remote working has helped businesses to stay operational, many weren’t prepared to provide their employees with a secure environment. And, using Wi-Fi networks can expose your company to a data security breach.

Remote access VPN solutions add a layer of protection, encrypting your data and ensuring a secure connection to your network.

Apply Software Updates

In recent years, there have been numerous attacks on private and public sector bodies targeting out-of-date IT systems and applications. In fact, according to Ponemon Institute survey, almost 60% of breaches occur because of unpatched vulnerabilities.

The issue occurs because many businesses are using obsolete products which no longer receive security updates, which in turn exposes vulnerabilities to attackers. So, don’t put off software updates. The National Cyber Security Institute recommends upgrading your applications and IT setups where possible, and consider moving to Software-as-a-Service products, where the security risk from outdated software is managed for you.

Find out more about the importance of patching >

Backup your data

Whether it’s operational data, customer details, quotes, orders or payment details, data loss would have a large impact on profitability, reputation and future of the business. Therefore, in an event such as software failure, data corruption or a malicious attack, reliable backups become indispensable.

This applies to businesses of all sizes and will help you quickly recover in any event, and you can’t be blackmailed by ransomware attacks. Ransomware attacks in the UK increased by 80% in 2020 with hackers taking advantage of remote working.

Find out more about the importance of backups >

There are plenty of ways you can begin to protect your business and improve your approach to data security. See how we can help you become more secure here >