There are many, many cybercriminals in existence currently – as society becomes ever more dependent on the digital world, their numbers will only grow. Data breaches are something which can happen to anyone because of this ubiquity, so there is no need to be ashamed if it has happened, or scared of the possibility. There are so many ways in which security can be monitored, both by individuals, and in conjunction with a cyber security consultancy, if that is your wish.

Over the past year, nearly half of all companies in America – no matter their size –have been the subject of a hacking attempt. The reason that there are so many hackers out there is because there is no minimum expertise – data protection hasn’t quite caught up with data proliferation yet, so there are many weak spots which can be exploited.


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Being able to train staff in security while also maintaining a decent level of secrecy over what data needs to be protected. This is something which is difficult to navigate around, it’s true, but it can be done, and done well. Instead of focusing on specifics, try for a more general approach when it comes to security, emphasising the research which shows that most data breaches are in fact enabled by employee negligence rather than by any particular breach in data security on its own.

Practice good access control.

Make sure you have good access control in everything which pertains to your business – stress that this applies to both people, software and hardware. Make sure there are protocols in place for people leaving their desk – i.e. they should always lock their computers when away from the desk, to prevent anyone from using them without authorisation. If you have employees and staff who work offsite, be sure that you know exactly when and where they are doing so, so as to keep track of who is logged into the system.

Avoid scams.

There are two prongs in the attack against scams. One is fairly simple: install a good spam filter on your email system, and make sure that it is maintained. The other prong is slightly more difficult.

The first step is education: your employees need to know what the various types of scams are and how to recognise them. Make sure to teach them about scams which sometimes occur over the phone and in-person as well. The second step is making sure that they do not touch the scam emails in any way other than to delete them as quickly as possible.

Implement hardware and software restrictions.

You should ensure that there are limits placed on the amount of information which can come into your system at any given time. Viruses and Trojan horses can sometimes be present in large downloads, so it is important to make sure that everyone is aware of the potential consequences of downloading programs and other features.

Make sure that your employees are educated on the need for caution when it comes to downloads – some of them may not be actively malicious, but they also come with additional add-ons and apps which are not needed, and which can clog up the system altogether.