6 April 2018
A reliance on using the internet and email to run our businesses leaves us increasingly vulnerable to dangerous data breaches caused by viruses, ID theft and hackers. For many years, security professionals have claimed, “Either you have been data breached, or you just don’t know that you have been data breached.”
Data breaches are on the increase, with Government reports estimating that the cost of cyber-crime to businesses is over £21 billion per year, with £9.2 billion of this being due to intellectual property theft, £7.6 billion from industrial espionage, £2.2 billion from extortion, £1.3 billion from direct online theft, and £1 billion from the theft of customer data.
“Somebody could send you an office document or a PDF file, and as soon as you open it, it's a booby trap and the hacker has complete control of your computer. Another major problem is password management. People use the same password on multiple sites, so when the hacker compromises one site, they have your password for everywhere else.” Computer security consultant and hacker, Kevin Mitnick
With data breaches being a fact of life, the importance of protecting data is higher than ever, not only because of potential fines for data breaches – which are due to increase when the EU General Data Protection Regulation is ratified, but also because public awareness of the problem is increasing. Here are a few ways to reduce the risks and costs involved in your business or organisation falling victim.
1. Buy Cyber Liability Insurance Cover. CLIC has been available for around 10 years, but most security professionals are unlikely to have heard of it, but as the cost of dealing with a breach gets higher, it’s well worth considering investing in CLIC.
2. Sign up to the Cyber Essentials Scheme. The UK government introduced this scheme to allow companies of all sizes to demonstrate their commitment to cyber security through independent security certification.
3. Always recycle your computer and technology products with a reputable computer recycling firm, to keep your data secure.
The importance of responsible computer recycling has never been so vital, if you want to keep your data secure and avoid a costly data breach. So if your company is one that is committed to the ethical recycling of its obsolete computers and technology products, make sure secure and environmentally friendly computer recycling that adheres to proper recycling regulations is part of your consideration, to ensure ultimate data security. It’s also important to be aware that companies are now legally obliged to safely dispose of potentially sensitive information in accordance with current security laws and the Data Protection Act of 1998. Be sure only to use a computer recycling company that operates in accordance with, and preferably exceeds all government guidelines such as the WEEE Directive and the Data Protection Act.