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The cost of 2017 data breaches
/ Categories: Datashred News, January

The cost of 2017 data breaches

As the number of data breaches in the UK continues to rise, it's becoming increasingly important for businesses to take data security seriously. Not only can data breaches seriously damage a company's reputation, but it can also do significant financial damage.

According to Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, breaches cost UK organisations an average of £2.48 million.

Whilst companies are vowing to get stricter on their security policies to prevent cyber attacks and data breaches, many are neglecting to consider one of the biggest contributing factors to a breach: sufficient document and hard drive disposal.

Cyber Attacks

As we become more and more reliant on digital platforms and technology, it's not surprising that digital hacks and cyber attacks are becoming more common. According to new government statistics, 46% of businesses have now suffered a digital attack.

In 2017, even some of the UK's leading organisations were victims of such attacks. Debenhams, Lloyds Banking, Tesco and Three all had their data compromised in cyber attacks.

One of the most worrying breaches of 2017 saw the payday loans company, Wonga, fall victim to an attack in which hackers were able to get their hands on bank details of customers.

While it’s important that companies take measures to increase their online security measures, they also need to put effective hard drive destruction methods in place so that old data can’t fall into the wrong hands.

A Paper Trail

In March last year, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) reported a significant breach from back in 2014.

Sensitive case files from children’s social workers had been left in a council filing cabinet that had then been given to a charity shop during an office move.

It was a perfect example of how human error can leave businesses open to severe breaches. The person in charge of getting rid of the old furniture had failed to check what was inside the cabinet. It was then sold to a new owner who contacted authorities to let them know.

The council was fined £60,000. However, had those documents fallen into the wrong hands, the damage would have been unimaginable.

This case highlights why companies need to have a secure shredding policy in place, especially when it comes to confidential waste disposal. Not only does it reduce the risk of businesses receiving hefty fines for something as common as human error, but it also ensures maximum protection of your sensitive data.

In order to protect your data, it’s important that you partner with a reliable document disposal company to ensure you’re compliant with regulations. If you’d like to find out more about the service we provide, get in touch today.