The Dangers of Internal Data Breaches

A blog we wrote a couple of weeks ago detailed the dangers that go along with employees bringing their work home. As it turns out, though, security risks don’t just happen when data is taken home — they can happen right inside the workplace, whether that is your home or an office building miles from where you live. According to the 2020 Unisys Security Index, Americans are even less concerned about data breaches. ​The Unisys Security Index, the leading security barometer – the longest-running snapshot of consumer security concerns conducted globally – shows U.S. internet security concerns have fallen dramatically since 2019.

Data security was difficult to manage a few years ago with a growing number of employees bringing their personal devices to be used in the workplace. To complicate matters further, COVID-19 added another layer of how to manage employees who may be working from home for the foreseeable future. Scamming and hacking have risen dramatically since the pandemic began and yet according to the Unisys study, internet security is now the lowest concern among consumers, after having been steadily on the rise since 2017 and finishing as the area of second-most concern in both 2018 and 2019.

Those consumers and employees are one in the same when it comes to internal data breaches. Cyberthreats are on the rise and it doesn’t matter if the threat is coming through your personal or work email, it still exists. Employees are often the gate keepers when it comes to cyberthreats.

“Estimates show there have been as many as 192,000 coronavirus-related cyberattacks per week in May 2020 alone,” the study said.

Google’s Gmail reported that it saw more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 scams in just one week, and more than 240 million daily spam messages related to COVID-19 in late April 2020. What is more, only 45% of respondents say they are concerned about the risk of being scammed during or about a health crisis,” the study stated.

Alexis Aguirre, Unisys director of cybersecurity for Latin America, was quoted in the study’s report, “We live in uncertain times. More than ever, digital platforms are essential for doing business and for connecting with the world. But you have to be careful because information security has never been so threatened. Developing good habits concerning suspicious emails and links should be like buckling your seat belt – necessary but habitual.”

What You Can Do To Help

Luckily, even in dealing with the complicated issues surrounding data security as it relates to employees’ personal devices or having your staff work from home, there are a number of things your business can do to help:

  • Don’t just restrict access to data, secure itencrypting data, rather than just putting passwords on computers and phones, ensures that even if documents themselves get into the wrong hands, they’ll still be protected.
  • Restrict printing of secure documents: many companies now restrict printing of documents at home to help mitigate the risk of sensitive information being available outside the office. If you do allow it, be sure to have a policy for the safe keeping and destruction of those printed documents. Ask us how we can help.
  • Conduct a data security risk assessmentassessing any data security risks prior to a data breach is critical and will point out any weaknesses in your security plan, allowing you to fix weaknesses before they’re exploited.
  • Provide ongoing training to all staff: assess your staff on a regular basis about their knowledge of the latest tricks and scams for accessing company data. Just like a data security risk assessment will point out any weaknesses in your security plan, testing your team for their knowledge of how security breaches can happen and how to prevent them will also tell you how much training your team may need. Remember, a major security breach could be just a click away by an employee who didn’t stop to think before they clicked on that email attachment.

One of Datashield’s often-overlooked services is our compliance consulting: given the complexity of data privacy laws, it can be difficult to make sure your business is keeping up, but we are here to help. Datashield can make sure that your business’ security is up to spec before a data breach happens to you — a critical step in data security.

For more information on how we can help, contact us today.

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