We’ve found ourselves reporting on more and more data breaches last year, from a Brisbane hospital losing patient information to Canva’s leak of user data. This got us thinking, so we did a little research and sure enough, 2019 was the worst year on record for global data breaches.

Just how bad was 2019 for data security?

The Cyber Risk Analytics 2019 Mid-Year Data Breach Report was first to predict that 2019 could be a landmark year for data breaches. It found that prior to 30 June 2019, there had been over 3,800 data breaches recorded in the US alone. That figure showed reported breaches were up by 54% year on year, and with 3 of the 10 largest data breaches of all time occurring in the first half of 2019.

What is the cause of a data breach?

Why Do Data Breaches Happen

Data breaches can be physical or digital, and the more common data breaches typically occur due to:

  • Stolen information – A stolen password can result in access of your private business information, including your client’s information. It’s believed that weak or stolen passwords account for most cases of “hacking”.
  • Malware – Malware targeting businesses is on the rise. The most common way hackers spread malware is by sending an email with a suspicious attachment across an entire company’s email database. If, or when someone opens it, their computer and network system can be accessed by the hacker.
  • Physical attacks – It’s not as uncommon as you’d think for criminals to break into an office and steal data, removing paperwork, computers, information and valuable items.
  • Data recovery – Cases are coming to light of data and information being recovered from dumps, junkyards or waste centres. If you dispose of documents, hard drives, technology or any other information without using an accredited secure destruction provider, your confidential data is at risk of being recovered.

Can businesses protect themselves?

Protecting Against Data Breaches

The techniques and phishing scams used by hackers is continually changing and so there’s no sure-fire way to completely protect a business against data breaches. However there are reasonably simple steps which can minimise the risks. You can protect your data by:

  • Keeping your staff informed on how to handle attempted malware attacks and where they commonly occur
  • Installing stringent and updated browser security settings on all company IT assets
  • Ensuring all employee passwords are strong and frequently changed
  • Having a Shred-X secure container for all staff to access, for all paper and electronic devices that hold sensitive data. Shred-X will ensure these items are securely destroyed, keeping your company, employee and client information private.
  • Never dispose of sensitive information via general waste, and educate your staff on the importance of secure information disposal.

How can Shred-X help prevent data breaches in my business?

If you need assistance disposing of sensitive data, Shred-X offer a wide range of secure data destruction services for documents, archives, products & textiles and electronic items (e-Waste) including computers, mobile phones and other IT assets.

With a team of Federal Police-cleared service personnel, Shred-X guarantee a complete chain of custody from collection of your material to destruction, protecting you, your customer and your business from a potential data breach.

Get started with Shred-X by chatting with a friendly member of our team online or by calling 1300 747 339.

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