How to tackle the most common causes of data breaches

Data breaches have serious financial and reputational consequences, but the faster you respond to an incident, the less severe the damage will be.

In order to respond promptly, organisations need to understand and prepare for the threats they are most likely to face. These typically fall into two categories. The first, external threats, refers to breaches caused by cyber criminals or third parties. The second, insider threats, refers to breaches caused by someone or something inside the organisation.

There are plenty of specific threats within each of these categories. Here are some of the most common.


External threats

  • Cyber criminals (including ransomware, malware and phishing attacks).
  • Suppliers that do not follow cyber security good practice (breaches may occur through accidental or deliberate actions).
  • Disgruntled former employees (leaking or stealing data).


Insider threats

  • Employees who are untrained in cyber security good practice.
  • Careless employees who disregard cyber security good practice (e.g. leaving laptops on trains, sending bulk emails with all recipients visible, etc.).
  • Technological failures that lead to data being corrupted or made otherwise inaccessible.
  • Disgruntled or malicious employees (leaking or stealing data).


Preparing for cyber attacks

The key to preventing data breaches is accepting that everybody is accountable for cyber security, not just security professionals. That’s why one of the most important security measures is regular staff awareness training.

When employees are taught about the risks associated with handling sensitive information, they will become more cautious and less likely to make basic mistakes. It will also make malicious insiders think twice before stealing data or sabotaging the organisation’s systems.


Get staff awareness training right

The way you approach staff awareness training will depend on the resources at your disposal. One of the most common solutions, particularly for organisations that are short on time, is to get help from a third party. This takes the hassle out of staff awareness training, freeing you from the worries of creating a course from scratch and ensuring it’s delivered in a way that everyone will understand and that all the necessary information is included.

You can make the process even easier by using our Information Security Staff Awareness E-Learning Course. Because it’s an online course, your employees can study at a time and place that’s convenient for them. All you need to do is send a notification to your employees, and then check that everybody’s completed the course.

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