5 data breach risk factors to look out for in your business

In 2022, Australia found itself a target for cyberattacks. Optus, Medibank Private and Woolworths (MyDeal) all fell victim to hackers and demonstrated that even some of Australia’s biggest brands are underprepared when it comes to appropriate data security.

Despite these attacks coming in quick succession, the different hallmarks suggested the hackers were likely unconnected, meaning that more than one organised cyberattack group had (and likely still has) Australia in their sights.

More alarming is that new research shows small businesses are 3 times more likely to be targeted by cybercriminals than larger companies because they often have fewer resources and lack security expertise.

Sadly, many successful cyberattacks go undetected, allowing criminals to either attack again to gather more information or use the personal data they have already gathered.

The best way to protect your data is to take a proactive approach by understanding the five risk factors that leave you exposed to a potential data breach.

Data access
When data is shared via unencypted email or saved within poorly secured servers or applications, it is easier for hackers to access that data. When individuals save data themselves in an unprotected environment, the risk increases.
If you only use secure data portals and protected servers and applications, you immediately reduce your risk of a cyberattack. Using applications that store and process data access requests reduce the risk of human error and add another level of security for your data.

Data retention
Many organisations retain information on poorly secured servers or applications indefinitely. Some also share data with third parties with no real understanding of how that third party is storing data.
Both of these scenarios place businesses at an increased risk of a data breach.
Again, leveraging applications to grant data access both internally and with third parties enables you to further secure your data.

Data duplication
If there are multiple copies of your data, you’re at risk of a data breach.
Every time you send an email, you have a copy of the data on your computer and on the server. Your recipient will likely download what you share and it will be saved on their local server too.
By simply moving away from unnecessary data sharing via email to a secure portal, you immediately minimise duplication vulnerability and opportunity for hackers to steal data.

Data liquidity
The modern world has intentionally made it much easier to transfer data from one place to another. The downside is that it puts us at greater risk of a data breach. When dealing with personal (even seemingly inconsequential) data, use secure portals, servers and applications to minimise risk.

Data value
The more valuable your data is, the bigger target you become for cyber-attacks.
Typically, any personal or financial information will be extremely attractive to hackers.
Iron clad data security is a critical business process, as is how data is stored, handled and shared. These should be a top priority for all businesses.

As the old saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. Once your data has been stolen, it’s nearly impossible to get it back, and the financial and reputational damage to your business will not be easy to repair.

Engaging the services of a third-party Managed IT Service provider offers a clear advantage for busy in-house IT teams and business leaders. In the ever increasingly complex IT world, being able to keep up to date with new cyberattacks is a challenge. With a third-party vendor, you can immediately tap into a vast network of specialists with deep knowledge in their own IT verticals.

For nearly 20 years, MircotechDPS has been delivering efficiency and peace of mind for hundreds of Australian businesses through our best-in-class business technology and IT solutions. Our customer centric approach means your success is our success, and we will do what it takes to ensure you meet your goals.

If you have questions or need guidance on the best approach for your business, get in touch to arrange a time to speak to one of our experts.


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