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We often hear about data breaches in the news and the unfortunate victim whose operations have been devastated. But more often than not, this is as far as data security extends into our worlds.

Do we ever actually consider what a breach may do to our business, if it were to happen? And should we be bothered?

Many cases of data breaches don’t make headlines nationally or regionally. But they’re occurring at an alarming rate. And the reality is we should all take some interest in this important area.

With this in mind, I have prepared a 60-second guide that answers questions which looks at who is behind these incidents, how they occur; and what signs we should all be looking out for?

By digesting my top facts and tips, you could end up saving yourself an awful lot of aggravation, lost time and money! And that’s surely got to be a good thing…

Key points:

1.      70% of all data breaches come from an attack by an external third party. This could include system hacks, or intercepting email to name a few. So beware, the variety and creativity of cyber criminals is now greater than ever!


2.      75% of all mid-sized organisations in the US either cut or froze their security budgets in 2009. Cyber criminals don’t suffer like the rest of us in a recession, they thrive! If you’re a small to medium sized business, you may incorrectly assume you won’t be a primary target. Don’t think like this. The reality is online thieves have identified firms like yours as lacking the security infrastructure or budget to adequately protect yourself. This makes your business a prime target!


3.      The No1 cause of a data breach is misuse, or human error! Believe it or not, 48% of all breaches occurred as a result of misuse, compared to 40% due to direct hacking. If all businesses planned for this eventuality, could we effectively cut the number of data breaches by 50% overnight? I’d like to think it was a distinct possibility!


4.      Of all the data breaches that have occurred in recent years, 96% were avoidable through simple or intermediary controls. This doesn’t mean a business needed to adopt a complicated solution. Basic protection would be suffice to eliminate the majority of data breaches quickly and simply.


5.      Businesses need to think harder about protecting their corporate reputations, as 61% of all breaches are first discovered by a 3rd party, such as a customer identifying something is clearly not right. This can have a major impact on your company’s brand – and could affect the way people think about you. After all, it is unlikely to develop trust in your brand if a customer can identify the problem before you!

And remember, data loss can affect any business, at any time. However the vast majority appear due to lax controls, and any resulting human error. Whilst the latter maybe impossible to totally eradicate, we can protect our data so that should it be lost, misplaced or intercepted – the confidential business and client information won’t be compromised!

More details can be found in the Verizon 2010 data breach investigations report.


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