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The biggest risk for data breaches is your employees

In a world where technology is evolving so fast, handling data became a challenge, especially when it comes to businesses. Cyber security improved, and so did attackers. During the past few years, thousands of data breaches exposed records and personal information. The possibility of being a victim of fraud or identity theft stirred panic among people, executives included. There is no wonder why people became so protective of their personal information.

Data breaches are the most feared event that a company can encounter. The consequences can be devastating, and neither business owners or employees are accurately informed about this topic. This represents the main reason why knowing the potential causes of a data breach – along with several methods to prevent them – is essential.

Even though the clear majority of business owners consider data breaches a result of external malicious activity, the primary originators of such unfortunate events are employees. They represent the targets soon-to-be lured on by attackers, a sure method to compromise the whole company.

Nearly all business owners became aware of the implications of a data breach and started taking several measurements to prevent them from happening. Since insider threats are frequently responsible for data loss, the first step to a safer future would be imposing a strict adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Most employees are not familiar with the existent rules for protecting data in a company or the severe consequences of a data breach, with GDPR in place; it is your chance to make the change and lower your risk.

Why do employees represent the biggest risk?

Data breaches can be either inadvertent or deliberate. Excluding external data leak threats such as malware, hacking, viruses, trojans and social engineering, the attention should focus on insider threats. Inadvertent data breaches are usually caused by accidental events, configuration errors, improper encryption or privilege abuse. Intentional insider threats include cyber espionage and sabotage. These are all results of either human mistakes or malicious/neglectful users or infiltrators.

By comparing the number of possible threats, any business owner can tell that employees should be feared the most. The root of insider threats is the lack of employee training. As long as they are not aware of the implications mentioned in GDPR, the exposedness to data breaches is definitely accentuated.

Training shortcomings – the aftermath

Still not convinced that raising awareness about GDPR is compulsory? 55% of cyber attacks in 2016 were as the result of insiders. Furthermore, insider threats are the most difficult to detect. Once a data breach takes place, a company’s primary goal would be finding the cause and remove it. When employees are the prime movers of a data breach, detection is a lengthy process that involves spending a lot of resources. Considering the fact that insider threats can go undetected, malicious employees can cover their tracks making the consequences even more expensive and long-drawn-out than before.

If the data breach included loss of customer personal data, the remediation costs could lead to bankruptcy, taking into account the fines and fees involved. Also, the reputation of a business which went through a data leakage is thoroughly affected. The aftermath is going to be reflected in profitability. The company will not be perceived as trustworthy any longer, leading to a decrease in client retention and a visible eroding of morale.

GDPR compliance and other training approaches

Training is the only unquestionable way to make sure that employees are acquainted with GDPR and the consequences of their actions. Through such training, business owners can highlight the importance of understanding high-risk apps, security bypassing, the inappropriate use of technology and other issues that may be encountered by an employee. By helping them comprehend;

  • How data sharing protection works
  • What they should and should not do at work
  • How to apply the lawful basis of GDPR
  • Spotting signs of malicious activity.

With this, a business owner drastically reduces the risks of encountering an internal data breach.

Proper training should be set in motion to prevent unpleasant events from the very beginning. At Cyan Solutions, we specialise in GDPR compliance preparation, creating and implementing cyber security solutions and eventually tracking existent changes through analytics. Well-conducted Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) is one process that we recommend our clients should undergo to assess the possible risks of data leakage better.

Reduce the threat with Cyan Solutions

Minimising negligence and possible risks by bringing GDPR to light became a leading-edge necessity. This is no longer an option, but a requirement for any company that desires to remain out of harm’s way. At Cyan Solutions, we can help your business to mitigate the risk and make sure that all internal data risks have been analysed, maintained and reviewed. If you want to protect your firm from the risk of data breaches, speak to the team of experts at Cyan Solutions to find out how we can help.


Categories: Cloud Computing, GDPR, News