Every business carries with it risks, some more devastating than others. One potentially destructive risk for your business is how you deal with your business data. To protect your business, it is important that you destroy data.
It is common to see big corporations in the news due to data breaches. If you run a small business, you may get a false sense of security, thinking that such things happen only to big companies. But that could not be further from the truth. Fortunately, you can protect yourself. Read on to learn more.
What is a Data Breach?
Simply put, a data breach is any unauthorized access to data or sensitive information. This information may be digital or non-digital.
For example, offline data leaks can occur when someone intentionally steals business documents that are improperly stored or disposed of wrongly. That said, online data breach is rampant due to our modern technology that makes data easily accessible. Without proper care, anyone can access your business data to perform illegal acts.
A data breach can occur intentionally or unintentionally. An excellent example of an involuntary leak is when a worker loses an important digital device, such as an office tablet. When it occurs intentionally, the data thief goes the extra mile to acquire information illegally. Sometimes you may not realize if you have a data breach. According to CNBC, about 80 percent of businesses realize breaches weeks after it has happened.
Your business can experience severe ramifications as a result of a data breach. Here are four consequences that can occur when your data becomes compromised.
Loss of revenue
Depending on how massive the breach is, your business can face substantial financial problems. Containing the data leak can be costly, such as compensating any affected customers and increasing your data security. Your business may also lose its value, which might scare away investors. Although it is not certain that a loss will occur, it is likely. According to Score, about 29 percent of businesses that experience breaches lose their revenue.
It is given that your business operations will come to a halt to give way for investigations following a data breach. A severe data breach may lead to a temporary shutdown of your business operations to allow such investigations. When this happens, your customers are more likely to consider switching to your competitors.
A data breach to your organization will tarnish your reputation to both your current and future customers in the market. Your clients are most likely to lose trust in your business, and turn their backs on you. It is at this point where customers with a bad experience with your business pop up. They are the loudest as they give their negative reviews about your business.
When you lose crucial client information, there are high chances that you will face class-action lawsuits from your clients.
Does your business have to go through such severe problems due to a data leak? What can you do to prevent such future scenarios from occurring?
One of the most important ways to protect your business data is through the destruction of data. You have to ensure that you destroy any piece of electronic and digital data.
As your company grows, it slowly accumulates confidential and sensitive information about your company’s clients, operations, and product secrets.
Following various privacy laws around the world, you should destroy this information once it has served its purpose. Therefore, you need to find out the most secure ways you can completely get rid of this data. Below are some strategies.
How to Delete Data Securely
Using in-house shredding machine
When you work in an office, you may handle a lot of confidential documents that should never land on the wrong hands. By using an in-house shredder, you can ensure that you destroy the data personally.
Ensure that all your employees have enough training on how to handle sensitive documents while in the company. Instead of throwing confidential documents in the bin, they should know when to shred. Failure to manage data the right way could lead to potential legal charges.
Overwriting digital data
When dealing with digital data, your employees can consider overwriting the data in the storage device by use of special software.
Using a Degausser
A degausser is a device that can help you destroy data in magnetic storage devices. It works by reducing the effects of the magnetic field on the drive.
Destroying your hard drives
If your business has decommissioned computers lying around, the chances are that they may contain some sensitive data about your business. You have the responsibility to remove the hard drives and destroy them by crashing them before you can dispose of the computers.
It’s important that you take data destruction seriously, as it may have severe repercussions on your business. When you are not careful, a small data leak can be the bullet that brings your business down. Always ensure that all your employees know how to handle sensitive data to prevent any chances of leaks from occurring.