by Sawab Allaladé on 16/01/2020 |

Updated at 21/09/2021

Data breach is one major problem that no business is immune to, as even big companies are affected too. As an entrepreneur, the security of your business should be a priority (if not topmost), as this threat can be devastating.  

Different years have been marred with different levels of cyber crime ranging mostly from small businesses to larger enterprises like the Sony breach. This has led to the closure of many businesses and even with the regular occurrences, many are still not sensitized well enough with the necessary data breach preventive measures.

What is "Data breach" or "Data leak" ?

It is simply an illegal access to a company or business data or information. Having an unauthorised unrestricted access to a company's database for some illegal (or legal, as the case may be) purpose(s) is Data breach or Data leak. These Data breaches are mostly carried out by cyber-criminals who steal sensitive data especially financial information. 

2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study shows that the global average cost of a Data breach is $3.86 million and the global average cost for each confidential data or sensitive information stolen or lost cost around $148. Companies are increasingly becoming more security conscious and focus and you should be too. 

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Protect my data

5 ways to protect your company from any Data breach or Data leak

  • Get educated: As an entrepreneur, get yourself educated about cyber security as many businesses are still not sensitized well enough about this mishap. And if you have employees, train them to be security conscious too as they are mostly the target by cyber criminals. An educated workforce is your best defense - Danielle Kunkle, Boomer Benefits. Regular privacy training and security  is advisable.
  • Limit data access: Restricting or limiting access to only authorized employees can minimize the risk of data breaches as they can only access vital information needed for their job. 
  • Protect sensitive data: All measures must be in place to protect all data at all times whether in use or not. Data should be discarded in the most secure way or better still shredded when storage need be disposed. Data loss prevention software can also be used. 
  • Topple your security: 

-You should enforce strong passwords across all systems and schedule it for change at least every 6 months. 

-Using a two-factor authentication will provide greater protection as it adds another layer to the security. 

-Encrypt devices and data. 

-Use of anti-virus and anti-malware. 

  • Outsource Monitoring: Your business need to be monitored at all times. Outsourcing your security monitoring is a cost-effective and hassle free strategy that ensures a 24/7 protection for your company, giving yourself and/or your I.T team the chance to focus on core activities. 
  • Always refer to the FINRA checklist: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has a definitive checklist on cybersecurity available on its website. Every business, large or small, should frequently take a thorough look at their existing security measures and following the FINRA checklist is a great place to start. FINRA even advises planning for a breach rather than focusing solely on prevention. - Ismael Wrixen, FE International. (According to Forbes)

Safeguarding your company against data breaches is more important than ever. The privacy (data and sensitive information) of your business or company is something you don't want to play around with as any data breach or data leak can cause damage to reputation/brand,  loss of revenue, loss of productivity, potential liability, resolution which may require outside help, etc. Enforcement of these precautions and measures can minimize the risk and protect your business or company from potentially damaging incidents.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Educate yourself, limit access to data, protect sensitive data, strengthen your security, outsource monitoring, and always consult FINRA's checklist.

Having unauthorized and unrestricted access to a company's database for illegal (or legal, as the case may be) purposes is a data breach or data leak.

Sawab Allaladé

Sawab A, is the co-founder and Managing Partner at OSHARA. He is passionate about Branding and Marketing and he helps businesses grow their brand and reach new heights of success using simple but efficient web technologies and digital marketing. His expertise and ability to listen and execute bring an added value to any team.

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