Losing data isn’t just an inconvenience for a company or a source of frustration for the IT department, it can have serious – potentially fatal – ramifications. Customers and clients are increasingly aware of the data your business holds and what it means; a security breach could seriously jeopardise their trust.

According to research by Ponemon Institute, the cost of data breach has continued to rise for the sixth consecutive year – the average cost per capita jumped from £79 to £86 last year. Negligence remains the main cause of data breaches, closely followed by malicious or criminal attacks. So what are the mistakes that often lead to this kind of headache?

 

Here’s a few mistakes to avoid:

 

Not updating software – Everyone knows how annoying it can be when your software keeps prompting you to update it to the newest version. Many people put it off every time promising to do it later. This is a pretty big mistake when it comes to protecting your data.

Most updates are improvements by a software company, patching up security threats and fixing bugs – if you don’t update, you are creating vulnerabilities in your systems which could be utilised by hackers.

 

Assuming that your staff know about computer security – Not clicking on odd links and avoiding accessing files from unencrypted hotspots might be second nature to you but don’t assume that your staff understand security. If you take time to educate every member of your team that has access to important files you will avoid a lot of silly mistakes which could be costly.

 

Not backing up – Back-ups need to be frequent and they need to be secure. There have been numerous cases of companies using things like USBs to back up important information but this is highly dangerous as people lose these portable storage units as often as they lose their car keys.

USBs can also fall into the wrong hands easily. A much better idea is to outsource the task to a service provider. They can help you to store data remotely in their secure data centre – yet still allow it to be accessed from any authorised computer.

 

Not making sure ALL devices are properly protected – It’s quite easy for you to have anti-virus security for all of the devices in your office but don’t forget there are other devices that may regularly have access to your data. The trend of BYOD has made keeping on top of this a little bit harder but with some organisation you can ensure all devices are secure.

Smartphones and tablets can be protected using something like AVG’s free security app and you should make sure all laptops and home computers are covered by an approved security software package.

 

 

Not making a disaster recovery plan – Most companies are aware of the frequency of data loss and the press is full of breach horror stories. Yet many don’t think it’s necessary to create a plan in case one of these breaches happens to them. By creating a plan you are ensuring that your reactions to any potential breach will be well-thought out and hopefully you recovery will be as speedy as possible.