After years filled with one data breach after another, privacy and information security can no longer be taken for granted. That means no company or institution, no matter its size, can afford to sit idly by and hope for the best as they accumulate—and are entrusted with—the personal and financial information of customers and business partners. Businesses need to make a bold shift from data breach awareness to actual data breach prevention. More than that, they need to prepare for the possibility that a breach may indeed occur.
So how about your business’s cyber security? What are you doing on the prevention and preparation fronts? If you’re feeling like you need to step up your cyber security, the following information can help you start taking a more proactive role.
The first place to look? Within.
What’s the most common source for organizations’ data breaches? The people working within them. Just to be clear, we’re not talking intentional data leaks here; we’re talking about careless employee behavior.
So how can you combat this exposure inside your own organization? Start by conducting formal training to not only help employees better understand cyber security risks, but to actually change their behavior and help them become smarter, safer stewards of your data. Consider including the following in that training:
- A plan: roll out a communication plan to help employees understand how your organization handles sensitive information.
- Context: provide clear explanations on just how important—and potentially valuable—your organization’s data can be to cyber criminals.
- Action: Test employees’ security behavior by using simulated exercises which imitate the kinds of cyber-attacks that are common in today’s digital environment.
And if a data breach should occur?
Unfortunately, even the most stringent cyber security prevention can’t eliminate the possibility of a data breach. That’s why you need to know where to turn in the wake of an actual incident. Responding appropriately is a complicated and labor-intensive process, requiring many active parties. And that response needs to happen fast.
Having a “data breach team” in place ahead of time is crucial for controlling the potential damage. Start by enlisting partners who can help in the following areas:
- Forensic exams
- Notification assistance
- Legal assistance
- Public relations assistance
- Credit monitoring
Make sure you establish solid relationships and verify that, should the worst occur, each will be prepared to provide prompt, crisis-mode service.
As threats to cyber security continue to evolve and impact organizations of all sizes, your business insurance provider can be a key partner. Look for a company whose approach to data security includes smart insurance coverage solutions and serves its clients with preventive risk management strategies and proactive breach response resources.