Data breach accountability is a priority for companies in the digital age. But with the increasing number of data breaches, it can be difficult to keep track of all the happenings.
The importance of data breach accountability cannot be ignored. For businesses and individuals alike, it is important to have a plan in place to prevent a possible data breach and react accordingly if one does happen.
Knowing who is responsible in the event of a data breach means knowing who to turn to before disaster strikes.
What is a data breach?
Data breaches occur when an unauthorized party gains access to sensitive information. The unauthorized party can use that information to commit fraud and other crimes.
A data breach can be caused by a number of different things, including human error, intentional acts, or cybercrime. They can happen at any point in the data process, from the moment data is collected, to when it is stored or shared with others.
One of the biggest data breaches of the past few years was that of Equifax. In July, 2017, the company reported sensitive information like credit cards, social security numbers, and driver’s license numbers were stolen from 143 million Americans. The breach also affected people in Canada and the UK.
Consequences of a data breach
A data breach can cause a lot of damage to a company and its reputation. There are many consequences that come with it, including:
The consequences of a data breach can be severe and long-lasting, and the effects are not always immediate; they may take time to reveal themselves.
Who is responsible for data breaches?
Data breaches can be a serious threat to the personal information of individuals. When these data breaches happen, it is important for organizations to take responsibility and make sure that their customers are protected.
Some of the most common errors behind data breaches include:
The company’s IT department can be held responsible for the occurrence of a data breach when they fail to maintain security standards. This can happen when they don’t have adequate policies in place, or if they don’t have enough staff members with IT experience.
Security measures are often overlooked when it comes to companies with limited resources, which can lead to data breaches. For example, many companies use basic passwords for their employees and don’t require them to change them regularly. This leads to malicious actors stealing employee credentials and using them against the company’s systems.
Data breaches can happen when cybercriminals infiltrate a company’s networks and gets access to their data; or when unsolicited emails with malicious attachments containing malware infects user devices.
The main motive behind cybercrime is profit. The most common types of cybercrime committed through data breaches include identity theft, credit card fraud, hacking, ransomware, and phishing schemes.
Cybercriminals usually target businesses in order to steal personal information such as passwords, bank account numbers, and social security numbers – as seen in the Equifax attack. They then sell this information, or use it themselves for malicious purposes, such as identity theft or credit card fraud.
Employees can be held responsible for protecting data and information that is stored on company servers. Unfortunately, many employees do not have the knowledge or resources to properly handle this task.
An employee may leak their business’ private information by mistake or simply through ignorance, rather than maliciously. For example, employees may post about their work on their private social media, or click on a phishing email link.
In order to reduce these risks, it is important for companies to provide regular cybersecurity training.
Business owners or managers
CEOs or business managers are ultimately responsible for protecting the company from data breaches. They need to ensure their company has a cybersecurity plan in place to protect against data breaches, as well as implementing a plan to prevent cyber-attacks, or any other potential security threats.
Whether a data breach occurs through ignorant staff errors, malicious actors breaking into the networks, or outdated cybersecurity flaws, the responsibility will be traced back to the business owners or managers. Staff training and IT infrastructure decisions ultimately come down to them.
Prevention before blame
Implementing data breach management plans and prevention processes is more secure and useful than pointing fingers after the fact.
A data breach prevention plan should include procedures for how you will handle a potential data breach, as well as what you will do if one has occurred.
Data breach prevention best practises:
Create your data breach management plan today
The cybersecurity consultants at Technology Solutions can help you create a data breach management plan based on your business’ specific requirements. Talk to them today about security best practises and how to keep your private data safe.
Data breaches are, in fact, scary and are dangerous to a company’s, customer’s, and employee’s well-being. Data breaches can have long-term effects on a company’s reputation, and some may choose to press charges against the company. There are possible ways to mitigate data breaches, and various protocols are put into place to lessen the risk of it ever happening in the first place such as the use of VPN, cybersecurity training, increasing password strength, and more.
I am the only IT guy in a small food-related startup and no one even wants to listen to my concerns. They think they won’t be targeted by a data breach and act like it. And, cherry on top, they have yet to review the policy I drafted…
Will we ever get all employees (worldwide) to just stop using weak passwords that hackers can easily break? Is this just a dream? Every single company should have a mandatory IT employee course where employees are taught what to avoid doing and what it’s ok to do to reduce potential data breaches. I think this should be mandatory for all companies to do.