The risk of a data breach is imminent with attackers often assigned to target certain sectors, specifically, legal firms to exploit intellectual property.
A large amount of security infrastructure is being implemented into small to large firms to ensure there isn't a vulnerability that can be used for a ransom request or to silently monitor communications. IT security can be implemented, but it requires change management including educating personnel on how to properly identify suspicious emails, websites or access to their devices.
There has been an increase in media coverage on mandatory data breach notifications where a firm would have to engage an expert to identify and audit the 'what, how, why, when and where' it happened and then manage what data is at risk.
During this approach, if there is no Information Governance in place, it will implicate and prolong the discovery to understand where current or archived data is stored within the business. Having a balance between implementing security protocols, change management and data mapping will ensure you're prepared for litigation, urgent discovery notices and ensuring independent investigators can run audits on data security or investigate why one occurred.
Data security can often be ignored due to budget bottlenecks and a utilisation inhibitor which impacts on personnel's daily routine by implementing measures like two factor authentication, virtual private networks, firewalls or encryption.
The following are questions you may need to evaluate to establish if you are ready to be reactive or proactive in your Data Security approach:
- How versatile is your business in establishing and then executing new procedures and policies?
- Is your IT Department agile at developing new technologies, changes and fixes? If they are, how do they ensure the culture adapts to a new norm with training and education?
- How approachable is the senior management with implementing dynamic security measures and what is the appetite to spend budget on this task?
With regards to implementing security measures, it is highly recommended that you engage a team of cybersecurity experts internally or externally to execute the correct changes to ensure a data breach doesn't occur. Although the best intentions may be in place, it is important to conduct regular security testing from independent, trusted experts who aren't familiar with the infrastructure. Change management needs to come from the top. Ensure that security is at the core of your business and cannot be taken lightly. The consequence of not doing so can result in the loss of a client's trust, privacy, market share and government investigations.
Security is not just the responsibility of the IT Manager, everyone needs to regularly participate in conducting due diligence when using devices at work and regarding how data is accessed or moved around. It is best to be proactive with your data then be reactive and be in the dark about your security.