By Torgny Gunnarsson
The loss of data can be incredibly damaging to any organisation or individual, but is particularly damaging for businesses. Along with the financial consequences of losing vital data, a company can also face negative impacts on its reputation and client base. Many major businesses have attracted streams of unwanted media attention due to data loss, causing them to lose clients along with credibility.
Despite these undoubtedly damaging consequences, a surprising amount of businesses are not protecting their data sufficiently. As shown in the infographic below, one survey found that 77% of employees leave their computers unattended at some point during the working day. This is a clear security hazard, and yet employers are not prioritising educating their staff about the consequences of data loss. As 31% of external data lost is employee data, it is in employees’ best interests to ensure that their computers are locked and that company data is secure.
The amount of small to medium businesses that do not protect against data loss is staggering. A shocking 60% admit to not backing up data regularly, which may explain why 78% of organisations have suffered at least one data breach in the past two years. As backing up data is such a simple way of protecting a business from facing some of the consequences of a data breach, it’s difficult to understand why so many business owners do not make it a priority.
Educating employees about the causes of data loss may help to protect businesses, not to mention saving them a lot of money. As 35% of data breaches are caused by malware and 21% by email attacks, holding training sessions that help employees to recognise and protect against these issues could prevent the company from suffering irreparable damage. A report from the British Chambers of Commerce showed that 93% of businesses that experience a data breach lasting over ten days file for bankruptcy within one year. Business owners should therefore be focusing not only on preventing data breaches, but also on formulating action plans to minimise the effects of one, should it occur.
In addition to ensuring that employees are educated about the causes and consequences of data loss, it is also vital for businesses to use effective malware solutions. By minimising vulnerabilities in software and applications, business owners can also minimise the possibility of data loss due to malware attacks. The use of mobile devices is also a cause for concern, as 56% of employees often store sensitive data on their smartphones or tablets. Such devices are difficult to regulate and are often the target of thefts, which may lead to a data breach if password protection is not sufficient.
These statistics highlight the importance of protecting data, especially during sensitive periods such and mergers and acquisitions. To give businesses the best chance at avoiding data loss, it is essential that staff are aware of the causes and potential consequences, and that all devices storing company data are sufficiently protected. Using data rooms to store documents is an effective solution for preventing the breach of particularly sensitive information. These virtual rooms will ensure that data is secure, backed up and protected from malware. Whichever methods businesses choose to ensure the safety of their data, it is essential that they prioritise awareness and are prepared for any eventuality.
About the company
Imprima was the first VDR provider in Europe to offer an M&A-focused due diligence platform in 2001, iRooms, and continues to lead the way to build an unparalleled track record worldwide. Delivering bespoke, flexible and professional solutions, Imprima has assisted with a wide range of transactions in over 160 countries.