How Can Data Leakages Be Prevented?

When working on behalf of a company or organization and regardless of the role they perform, the members of a staff are responsible, to a greater or lesser degree, for protecting the information they share with or collect from third parties.

Among the most common cybersecurity threats faced nowadays by technology users are data leakages, which although imperceptible in a large number of cases, can place at risk the confidentiality of businesses’ client portfolios, proprietary material, and even employee bases.

Being unable to detect such a data breach does not mean it could not have taken place. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to identify both internal and external risk factors and draw up strategies based thereon. This also proves suitable if we consider that the loss of data is inadvertently caused, more often than ever, by the lack of comprehensive security guidelines or policies.

According to a research carried out by Deloitte, the main consequences of data leakages are the following:

  • Identity theft
  • Sensitive information disclosure
  • Loss of revenue
  • Alterations in user roles or access levels
  • Interruption of services
  • Counterfeiting

All of these scenarios can be operated by in-house workers and computer hackers alike, hence the first course of action to follow is analyzing the operations executed within the corporate hierarchies, ranging from the classification and management of information to the delimitation of access to databases and the identification of the people involved in handling the content thereof. Last but not least, it is also useful to foresee potential risks in the short, medium, and long run.

Classify and Protect

What the experts in IT security strongly recommend to companies is keeping a record of their data assets. This control source needs to not only take into account every single piece of information (like personal details, business plans, databases, trademark formats, etc.), but also determine the particulars processed by each area and set forth case-specific protection criteria and compliance requirements for retrieving, using, disseminating, and storing data.

It is only after studying and categorizing information, along with the leakage causes in relation thereto, that organizations can develop adequate protection plans and choose the tools necessary to avoid the dangers of data escaping from their facilities.

Experts also stress that instructing workforces in the best practices regarding information management is of the essence. No matter the job title, anyone from directors to subordinates must meet such guidelines, given that it only takes a brief moment of carelessness for data breaches to occur.