Understanding the ways your data could become compromised
There are many ways that sensitive personal data can become compromised, and it doesn’t always come from an outside hacker. Around 28 percent of enterprise data security incidents actually come from inside. While that most likely doesn’t mean employees have malicious intent, it’s still an issue and it’s important to know how your data could potentially be compromised.
As the name implies, a data leak is when unauthorized transmission of data from within an organization is exposed to an external destination or recipient — either electronically or physically. These threats typically occur through web and email but can also happen through mobile data storage devices and cloud data storage devices, which exposes sensitive and personal data to the Internet.
Data loss is any event or process that results in corrupted data, deleted data, or data rendered unreadable by a user or application. Most often this happens accidentally when data is deleted or corrupted in some way, shape, or form.
Whether it’s through a virus or formatting error, data is rendered unreadable not just by humans but also by software, and it comes at a high cost in terms of both time and money. In fact, 94 percent of companies that experienced catastrophic data loss never recovered, and 93 percent of businesses that suffer data loss for more than 10 days file for bankruptcy within one year.
Improper data backup
Improper or unsuccessful data backups — or failing to backup altogether — can result in the loss of personal data. Data changes constantly, which means there needs to be a consistent (and frequent) system to back up the data in place to make sure the information is not put at risk.
Besides, many companies have employees working remotely or on their mobile devices, all of which might not be synced to a backup regime and are more vulnerable to being lost, broken, or stolen — along with the data that they’re securing.
A great rule of thumb when it comes to data privacy and data security is to never leave a computer unattended because it puts confidential data in jeopardy. Whether someone walks by and sees what you’re working on or goes as far as to steal the device, it’s critical that you’re always attending to your computer to minimize the possible risks to sensitive data. In case you have to leave your computer, remember to lock it before you go.
Removable media is any type of storage device that can be removed from a computer while the system is still running, such as USB devices, SD cards, or smartphones. They’re convenient, but they’re also a possible target for a data breach. If the removable storage device isn’t write-protected, they’re unprotected from malware and viruses that can easily replicate and distribute themselves throughout the whole company’s system resulting in the unauthorized use or loss of confidential information.