June 15, 2021
How To Protect Your Company From Data Breaches?
Data breaches are a very real risk to businesses in Singapore. One only has to read the news or check the regular announcements from the PDPC to gauge just how regular and in some instances, damaging, a data breach can be. And this has only worsened since the start of COVID-19, as bad actors seek to exploit work-from-home arrangements.
The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) spoke of the dangers of data breaches in a recent announcement, citing how they’re often caused by human error, as well as malicious activities such as phishing or cyber-attacks1.
But on top of this, especially as employees slowly but surely begin to return to the office, there are also many physical threats companies must contend with to avoid fines and severe reputational damage.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the main ways you can protect your company from data breaches. Including tips on how to mitigate threats, educate employees and of course, how partnering with a document destruction specialist like Shred-it is a giant step towards keeping your confidential information confidential.
What is a Data Breach?
Before diving in to the ways to protect your company, it’s important to understand exactly what is meant when we refer to a data breach – as awareness is often the first step to action, and the best form of defence.
So, according to the PDPC: a data breach refers to an incident exposing personal data in an organisation’s possession or under its control to unauthorised access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal or similar risks2.
But beyond just organisations, anyone can be at risk of a data breach – from individuals to global enterprises, and public bodies. And data thieves don’t discriminate when it comes to choosing who to target, which is why it’s imperative for everyone to understand and be able to mitigate the risks.
Below, we explore some of the most effective ways to protect your company from data breaches.
1. Set Up a Risk Management Regime
Business leaders are being urged to build better human firewalls as data breaches continue to rise. Security experts identify people as the biggest targets – and weakest links – in the corporate security chain. Establishing a risk management regime which covers both online and paper-based documents that come in and out of your organisation is a necessary for modern businesses to mitigate risks and ensure compliance with the PDPC.
2. Employee Education and Awareness
In any workplace, it’s essential that employees are aware of the risks, but also comfortable dealing with and reporting data breaches. In turn, this requires companies to embrace and instill a security first culture. By bringing staff up to speed and giving them the confidence to identify and deal with threats, as well as the ability to confidently handle confidential documents, this can greatly reduce the human error often attributed to data breaches.
3. Establish a Shred-it All Policy
Of course, education and awareness can go a long way to reducing risks. But in some instances, determining if a document is confidential or not can be time-consuming and confusing. So, sometimes it’s best to simply establish a robust document disposal process in the form of a Shred-it All Policy – where all business documents are placed in a secure, locked console and securely destroyed once they are no longer needed.
4. Use Hard Drive & Media Destruction Services
Even today, the majority of businesses don’t use a professional service to destroy old hard drives. But if your disposal process simply includes erasing, reformatting, wiping or degaussing old hard drives, you and your customers may still be vulnerable to a data breach. Shred-it’s hard drive destruction services are a sure way to ensure the data contained within is irretrievable, with a certificate of destruction issued after every service to provide an audit trail and demonstrate compliance with data protection regulations, such as the PDPA.
5. Partner with a Document Destruction Specialist
One of the most assured ways to protect your company from data breaches is to partner with a document destruction specialist, like Shred-it. By ensuring any documents are securely destroyed, this greatly reduces the risk of a data breach by preventing the piling up of potentially damaging documents. But our expertise doesn’t just extend to paper, with the same proven, state-of-the-art, chain of custody protocols and leading shredding technologies used to destroy various types of media.
In today’s data-driven world, it’s more important than ever to secure the personal information of your business, customers and employees, to reduce the risk of data breaches. Get in touch today for a no-obligation quote, to see how our services can support both your data security and ensure compliance with the PDPA.
1 The Straits Times
This article is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should not take, or refrain from taking, actions based upon the content of this article. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes. Please seek professional legal advice.