Returning To The Office? 10 Tips To Minimize Data Security Risks

New survey finds 77 percent of business managers believe their organizations are likely to experience a data breach in the next three years.

More than three quarters (77 percent) of IT decision makers across the U.S. and Canada believe their companies are likely to face a data breach within the next three years, according to a new survey from Adastra

Survey respondents ranked data security as the biggest game changer in 2023 as companies continue to bolster their cybersecurity preparedness—68 percent of managers surveyed say their companies have a cybersecurity division and a further 18 percent report they are in the process of creating one. Only 6 percent of respondents reported having no cybersecurity division.

“The increase in data breach incidents across North America is troubling and must be prioritized as employees continue to return in-person to their corporate offices,” said Kuljit Chahal, Practice Lead, Data Security at Adastra North America. “During the pandemic many employees were hired virtually and, in combination with long absences from offices, introductions to and re-familiarization with security protocols will be critical.”

 

“The increase in data breach incidents
across North America is troubling
and must be prioritized
as employees continue to return
in-person to their corporate offices.”

— Kuljit Chahal

Awareness of data security best practices among employees is essential: according to the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 82 percent of data breaches are caused by human error and companies of all sizes are at risk.

“In our role as data security experts, we have found that some companies, especially smaller ones, can be lulled into a false sense of security believing that perpetrators will not bother with them­—this is absolutely not the case,” said Chahal. “The results of this survey should serve as a reminder that companies of all sizes must invest in data security protection, resources and education, particularly as we return to in-office activities.”

The cost of a breach can be significant and far more than what an audit from a data security firm will cost. According to Statista, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. grew to $9.4 million in 2022, up from $9 million in the previous year.

Data Security
(Credit: Adobe Stock by NicoElNino)

Here are 10 data security enhancements to consider as employees return to the office:

1. Insider threats: employee re-education of systems and protocols. The unauthorized disclosure of data isn’t always the result of malicious actors. Often, data is accidentally overshared or lost by employees. Keep employees informed with cybersecurity education. Employees who go through regular phishing tests may be less likely to engage with malicious actors over email or text messaging.

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