How should an organisation prepare for a data breach?
It’s now 2018. To many of us the internet is so important in our day-to-day lives it’s on the same level as eating and drinking. In just a few decades, we’ve gone from a screeching dial-up connection to super-fast Wi-Fi broadband (though not always quite fast enough) to meet with our ever-increasing online demands.
Technology is still developing at an alarming rate to allow us to do almost anything efficiently, accurately and even remotely. However, that isn’t to say that these technological advancments are perfect. Whilst we encourage new technology to allow us to make video calls with our grandparents half way across the globe and to send money with a swipe of our phones, cybersecurity is still lagging behind.
Data breaches are happening left, right and centre, and coupled with our love of the internet, it’s probably safe to say that no internet user is 100% safe from a breach.
Customers share their contact details and banking information to businesses and organisations in order to purchase goods and services all the time. Customers are therefore trusting organisations (and therefore their employees and outsourced contractors) with a wealth of information.
How well is the data we give them stored, used and secured? Do people really know? An organisation failing to do any of this correctly or adequately can lead to data breaches and subsequent legal claims. Whilst most data breaches are impossible to completely avoid, there are steps that can deter breaches, prevent them from being successful, limit damage and regain trust from customers.
So, it’s safe to say that organisations must be prepared for data breaches…
If you are a data breach victim considering compensation, the below could be useful for you when trying to consider whether you have a case. For free and friendly advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, but ask yourself these important questions:
- Did the organisation responsible for the breach have a plan to deal with the breach?
- Did they act quickly enough? Studies show that data victims can be far more understanding over a data breach that couldn’t be prevented in comparison to hiding a data breach from them completely in efforts to “save face”;
- Did they offer support? Organisations should not just leave customers out in the cold. Data victims will often feel betrayed, and their trust and confidence may have wavered. Organisations should take action to support them and be available and accessible for advice;
- Finally, organisations should do enough to prevent it happening again: the likes of Yahoo were guilty of failing to do this. Although steps ought to be taken to stop breaches in the first place, organisations should at least focus on preventing future breaches that could further harm their users’ data.
On top of the steps to take if a breach occurs, orginisations should try and prevent data breaches using a variety of available methods:
- Encrypt data: the most basic method of protecting data from hackers;
- Security walls / firewalls: measures to halt outsider access;
- Security protocols. All businesses need to handle data but it doesn’t mean that every single employee should be able to access all information freely. Limit access to information to those who are authorised to use it. Even if an employee has authorisation to access information, it should be accessed in a secure manner. Mobile devices can be screened and checked with necessary security measures installed as well.
Fail to prepare; prepare to fail…
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