Why Outsourcing Your Data Protection is Good for Business?

Why Outsourcing Your Data Protection is Good for Business?

In today’s digital age, protecting sensitive data has never been more critical. From personal information to financial data, companies are responsible for safeguarding their clients’ information from cybercriminals. Cybersecurity and overall data protection has become a crucial aspect of business operations, and companies cannot afford to ignore it. As such, outsourcing data protection has become a popular trend in the business world. Here are some reasons why outsourcing your data protection is a smart move:

Read more: Why Outsourcing Your Data Protection is Good for Business?

Expertise and Experience

Outsourcing your data protection ensures that you are working with a team of experts who have extensive experience in data security. These professionals have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field and are up to date with the latest technologies and protocols to keep your data safe.

Cost-Effective

Outsourcing your data protection can save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. Hiring an in-house team to manage your data protection requires a significant investment in training, salaries, and benefits. Outsourcing your data protection eliminates these costs, allowing you to focus on other areas of your business. You may also save money on hardware and software purchases, as your data protection provider already has the necessary equipment and tools.

Compliance

Data protection regulations are continually changing, and it can be challenging to keep up with all the requirements. However, outsourcing your data protection ensures that you always comply with the latest regulations. Your data protection provider will be responsible for keeping you up to date with the latest standards, ensuring that you avoid costly fines and legal issues. Compliance is crucial, and outsourcing data protection can help you avoid any legal troubles.

Peace of Mind

Outsourcing your data protection provides peace of mind, knowing that your data is in safe hands. You can focus on your core business activities without worrying about the security of your sensitive information. If there is a breach, your data protection provider will handle the situation, minimizing the damage and ensuring that your business is up and running as soon as possible. You may also have access to 24/7 support and monitoring, which can help you quickly identify and address any security threats.

Focus on Your Core Business

Outsourcing your data protection frees up your time and resources, allowing you to focus on your core business activities. You can concentrate on growing your business, developing new products and services, and improving customer satisfaction. Data protection is a crucial aspect of business operations, but it is not your core business. Outsourcing data protection can help you stay focused on what you do best.

Improved Data Security

Outsourcing your data protection can lead to improved data security. Your data protection provider will have access to the latest security technologies, which can help protect your data from cyber threats. They can also provide you with regular security assessments and audits, which can help identify any vulnerabilities in your system and address them before they become a problem.

In conclusion, outsourcing your data protection is smart for any business looking to secure its sensitive information. It provides expertise, cost-effectiveness, compliance, peace of mind, and improved data security. Outsourcing data protection can free up your time and resources, allowing you to focus on your core business activities. So, if you haven’t already, consider outsourcing your data protection today.

Click here if you would like to book a discovery call to see how we can support you,

How to Risk Assess a Data Incident

How to Risk Assess a Data Incident

Introduction

In today’s digital age, the amount of data being collected, stored, and processed is constantly increasing. With this comes the risk of data incidents, such as data breaches or cyber-attacks. When a data incident occurs, it is essential to quickly assess the risk involved and take appropriate action to minimise the damage. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps involved in risk assessing a data incident.

Identify the Type of Incident

The first step in risk assessing a data incident is to identify the type of incident. Many kinds of data incidents exist, including data breaches, cyber-attacks, insider threats, and accidental disclosures. Each type of incident requires a different approach to risk assessment. For example, a data breach may involve the theft of sensitive data, while a cyber-attack may include the compromise of a company’s systems. Once the type of incident has been identified, it is important to gather as much information as possible about the incident, including the scope of the incident and the potential impact on the organisation.

Assess the Risk

The next step is to assess the risk involved in the data incident. This consists in evaluating the likelihood of the incident occurring and the impact it could have on the organisation. The likelihood of the incident occurring can be determined by analysing the vulnerabilities in the organisation’s systems and processes. The impact of the incident can be assessed by considering the potential loss of data, the financial impact on the organisation, and the potential damage to the organisation’s reputation. Once the likelihood and impact have been assessed, the risk level can be determined.

Within our organisation, we have a data incident risk assessment form, which identifies

  • the risk details
  • risk grading
  • recommendations and actions
  • Lessons to be learned

Mitigate the Risk

The final step in risk assessing a data incident is to mitigate the risk (lessons to be learned). This involves taking appropriate action to minimise the damage caused by the incident. Depending on the type and severity of the incident, this may include a variety of actions, such as notifying affected individuals, implementing new security measures, or engaging an incident response team.

Being proactive is vital. Have processes in place for mitigating data incidents before they occur. It then allows appropriate action can be taken quickly and effectively.

Conclusion

In conclusion, risk assessing a data incident is a critical step in minimising the damage caused by data incidents. By identifying the type of incident, evaluating the risk, and taking appropriate action to mitigate the risk, organisations can protect themselves from the potentially devastating consequences of data incidents. It is important to have a plan in place for risk-assessing data incidents so that appropriate action can be taken quickly and effectively when incidents occur.

If you would like to know how we can help you, you can either check out our services page or book a free discovery call to see how we can support you further.

How to Deal with Data Incidents and Breaches

How to Deal with Data Incidents and Breaches

Introduction

In today’s digital age, data security is paramount. Despite the best efforts, data breaches and incidents can happen. It is essential to have a robust process in place to deal with such incidents. This post follows on from our blog, Understanding the Difference Between Data Incidents and Data Breaches, and will discuss the steps to take when dealing with data incidents and breaches.

Read more: How to Deal with Data Incidents and Breaches

Internal Reporting

The first step when a data incident or breach occurs is to report it internally. The internal reporting process should be well-documented and communicated to all employees. The incident response team should be notified immediately. The team should consist of members from various departments, including IT, legal, and HR.

Once the incident response team has been notified, they should investigate the incident to determine the cause and scope of the breach. They should also take steps to mitigate the damage and prevent further breaches. The team should document their findings and actions taken for future reference.

Risk Assessing for a Breach

After the incident response team has completed their investigation, a risk assessment should be conducted. The risk assessment should determine the potential impact of the breach on individuals and the organisation. The assessment should consider the sensitivity of the data breached, the number of individuals affected, and the potential harm to those individuals.

The risk assessment should also consider the likelihood of harm occurring and the organisation’s ability to prevent or mitigate the harm. The risk assessment results should be used to determine whether the breach needs to be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

If you are struggling to identify if it is a breach, check out the ICO self-assessment.

Reporting a Breach to ICO

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), organisations must report certain types of data breaches to the ICO within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach. The ICO defines a data breach as “a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed.”

Organisations should report a breach to the ICO if it is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. The ICO provides an online self-assessment tool to help organisations determine whether a breach needs to be reported.

When reporting a breach to the ICO, organisations should provide as much detail as possible about the breach, including the type of data involved, the number of individuals affected, and the steps taken to mitigate the damage. Organisations should also notify affected individuals if the breach is likely to result in a high risk to their rights and freedoms.

Conclusion

Data incidents and breaches are a reality in today’s digital world. It is essential to have a robust process in place to deal with these incidents. The process should include internal reporting, risk assessing for a breach, and reporting a breach to the ICO when necessary. By following these steps, organisations can minimise the impact of a data breach and protect the rights and freedoms of individuals.

If you would like to know how we can help you, you can either check out our services page or book a free discovery call to see how we can support you further.

Understanding the Difference Between Data Incidents and Data Breaches

Understanding the Difference Between Data Incidents and Data Breaches

Introduction

In the world of data protection, two terms are often used interchangeably: data incidents and data breaches. While they may sound similar, they are not the same thing. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between the two and why it is essential to distinguish between them.

Data Incidents vs Data Breaches

A data incident is any event that involves the mishandling, loss, or compromise of data. This can include accidental deletion of files, loss of a device containing sensitive information, or unauthorised access to data. On the other hand, a data breach is a specific type of data incident that involves the intentional or unintentional release of sensitive data to an unauthorised party. This can include hacking, phishing, or other cyber attacks.

While both data incidents and data breaches can damage an organisation, the distinction between the two is important. A data incident may not always result in a breach, but it is still important to respond appropriately to minimise the impact on data security. In the case of a data incident, it is vital to respond promptly and effectively to reduce the impact on data confidentiality, integrity, or availability. This may involve identifying the scope of the incident, containing it, and mitigating any potential harm. It is also essential to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the incident and take steps to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

If a data breach occurs, following the appropriate legal and regulatory requirements is crucial. In the UK, for example, organisations must report certain types of data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach unless the breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. Organisations may also need to notify affected individuals or customers of the breach, depending on the severity of the incident. It is important to have a plan in place to respond to data breaches and ensure that employees know the appropriate procedures to follow.

Examples of Data Incidents and Data Breaches

Some examples of a data incident include accidental deletion of files, loss of a device containing sensitive information, or unauthorised access to data. These incidents can happen to anyone, from small businesses to large corporations. It is important to respond appropriately to minimise the impact on data security and prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

Examples of a reportable data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK include incidents involving personal data that are likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, such as identity theft or financial loss.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to distinguish between data incidents and data breaches. While they may sound similar, they are not the same thing. By understanding the difference and responding appropriately, organisations can minimise the impact on data security and prevent future incidents. It is also important to follow legal and regulatory requirements, such as reporting data breaches to the appropriate authorities, to ensure compliance and protect individuals’ rights and freedoms.

Call to Action

Don’t wait until a data incident or breach occurs to take action. Take steps now to protect your organisation’s data and minimise the risk of a security incident. This may include implementing security policies and procedures, training employees on best practices for data protection, and regularly reviewing and updating your security measures. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to data security.

If you would like to know how we can help you, you can either check out our services page or book a free discovery call to see how we can support you further.

GDPR: How to Make Your Website Compliant

GDPR: How to Make Your Website Compliant

If you run a business, you likely have a presence on the web, a website, in other words.

For some, that site might be an online store where visitors can purchase your products directly. For service providers, it may be a site promoting those services and informing potential customers about your quality and the benefits your services bring.

A well-crafted, engaging website is all about credibility; it is an opportunity to make that critical first impression. We tend to focus on those things when creating our sites or working with those who can do it on our behalf.

Many, though, tend to forget the importance of GDPR compliance, or at least put it on the back burner; the result, of course, is that an alarming number of websites aren’t as compliant as they should be…

Here are some of the most overlooked areas of website compliance:

Cookies are classified as a type of identifier, one which can often (in the case of authentication cookies) contain personal data used to log in to accounts. They might also collect information such as unique IDs and site preferences to better tailor content to a user’s tastes.

The regulations around cookies relating to GDPR and PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations) are complex and wide-ranging depending on your business and the purpose of your site. They might not always be classed as personal data, which confuses many site owners.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has a helpful resource to determine where consent applies for you and your site’s use of cookies; it only takes around two minutes to complete and can save serious issues further down the line.

Website Security

SSL: Secure communication between a site’s server and the device your users browse on is essential. You might notice some sites display a padlock icon in the address bar, and that icon means the connection is encrypted using HTTPS (not the older, less secure HTTP) protocol.

Securing your website is crucial to guarding your data as well as sensitive information from your customers. Taking preventative measures to protect your site can save time and money and protect your brand reputation. It does not matter if you collect payments or personal data; it should still be secure.

Passwords: One other way to secure your website is by logging in. Ensure that you use a strong password AND multi-factor authentication. Ensure anyone with access to the website has a unique and strong password.

Back up your website or automate the backing up of the site. Your hosting provider can provide this.

Updates: Ensure you update your website regularly or automate the updates. Updates are released to improve your site’s security and the plug-ins you use.

Privacy Policies

Disclosing how you gather, store, use and manage your visitors’ data is an essential aspect of good GDPR practice, making your privacy policy a vital working document.

It should contain

  • your contact details,
  • the types of personal information you collect,
  • how it is obtained, and why you have it.

The policy should also state how the data is stored along with the rights of the individual and how to make a complaint if they feel it necessary to do so.

It also needs to be easily accessible for all to see.

Opting-In & Opting-Out

Online marketing can be challenging to understand the regulations (PECR). As a rule of thumb, do not rely on legitimate interests to send emails.

When adding a sign-up form, it is crucial to give them a choice to opt into specific types of communication. Remember that opting in is always preferable, and being specific is essential.

You might send different types of emails, such as newsletters, marketing, product updates or essential emails. Subscribing and unsubscribing from some or all of these should be as easy as possible for your users.

Are you doing enough to ensure your website is compliant? If you need advice and support, I’d be delighted to help make your website GDPR-compliant. Get in touch today to schedule a chat.

Have a conversation with your website designer/tech, who will be able to ensure the site is secure. If you would like support, advice or guidance on policies, then why not book a free discovery call with us?

Data Protection and Working Virtually

Data Protection and Working Virtually

In the last couple of years, how we work has changed immensely. We now want to work in a more hybrid way or work from home more often. Virtual working is in high demand, which means data protection and privacy need to be a high priority.

There are some things that organisations need to implement for the safety of the business and their clients.

Working from Home

As working from home becomes increasingly common, it is essential to ensure that proper data protection measures are in place. Team members must take steps to secure confidential and sensitive information. This will include using secure networks and passwords, encrypting data, and limiting access to work devices. That means work devices should only be used for work purposes by the appropriate person. A work-issued machine should not be shared with others in the house.

Businesses should also provide clear policies on data protection and train their employees on best practices. Regularly backing up data and conducting security audits can also help mitigate data breach risks while working remotely.

Shared workspaces

Co-working offices have become increasingly popular over recent years way to working virtually. They offer individuals and small businesses the opportunity to work from a shared workspace. However, with this trend comes unique challenges related to data protection. Co-working spaces often involve using common areas, such as shared printers and wifi networks. This can potentially expose sensitive information to unauthorised parties.

This may account for the results of a survey by Veritas Technologies which stated that 74% of companies experienced data breaches at co-working spaces.

We are not saying co-working spaces are unsafe and should not be used. They are a great place to work. But, it is essential when working in a co-working space to implement additional data protection measures, such as encrypted networks. The easiest way to do this is to use a VPN on your device.

In fact, with VPNs, I would use one whenever using an external wifi source to protect your data and access from others.

In addition, users of co-working spaces need to be conscious of the work they are working on and what can be seen by others. You are in a public area, and someone could look at your screen over your shoulder. 

Additionally, co-working space users need to be diligent in protecting their data, such as using strong passwords and avoiding public wifi networks. With proper measures, co-working spaces can protect their users’ data.

Bring your own device

In today’s digital age, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies are becoming increasingly common in workplaces, which can pose a challenge to data protection.

As team members use their personal devices, it cannot be easy to ensure that sensitive information is not compromised. To address this issue, organisations can implement security measures such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and remote wiping capabilities to protect data on personal devices. It is also important for team members to receive training on data security and for clear guidelines to be set regarding using personal devices for work purposes. By taking these steps, organisations can better protect their sensitive information and reduce the risk of data breaches.

There is a theme running through each of these sections: cyber security, which is not limited to the above.

Cyber security

As more people are working remotely, cyber security has become increasingly important. Working virtually can leave individuals vulnerable to cyber attacks. As a result, it is important to have secure connections and to use strong passwords to protect sensitive information.

The first thing that needs to be checked/verified is that the set password for the router has been amended, as has the login to the router. They may look like a unique password on the base of the equipment, but they still need changing.

Additionally, when working from home, caution should be given when clicking on links or downloading attachments from unfamiliar sources. Training should be sourced and provided to employees. If you work with freelancers or sub-contractors that access your systems, you must ensure they have completed training.

Where possible, resources and lessons learned should be shared to ensure their remote employees are aware of potential threats and are taking the necessary precautions to keep company information safe.

If you have any questions about supporting your business and team to work safely and compliantly virtually, or if you would like support applying for Cyber Essentials, why not book a free 30-minute call to see what we can do?