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Top 5 ways to avoid a data breach

Since 2009, specialty carrier Beazley has serviced more than 1,500 data breaches affecting 14 million people. In those five years, Beazley reports a 30% increase in breaches due to malware or hacking. The most common breach is through the physical loss of devices (laptops and USB drives) and unintended disclosure through misdirected emails and faxes.

The costs of data breach are growing. The forensic costs to identify the source and size of the breach are becoming more expensive as data breaches become more sophisticated.

Also growing: the uninsurable reputation loss that occurs after a data breach. An EUI Global study found that 18% of repondents have been a victim of data breach, and of those individuals, 38% say that they will no lnoger do business with the company where the data breach occured. And these individuals talk: 46% have advised family and friends to be careful with sharing data with those companies.

 

The majority of incidents are fully preventable, Beazley says. Click through the following pages to read Beazley’s top five ways to avoid a data breach. 

Sources of Breaches Serviced by Beazley, January 1 2013 – August 2014

 

 

  

Encrypt your devices

  • More than 73% of the breaches serviced by Beazley in 2013 involving portable devices could’ve been prevented if the devices were encrypted.
  • Encryption is a safe harbor under virtually every breach notification law.

 

 

 

Automate patch management

  • From 2013 to August 2014, Beazley saw a 20% increase in breaches due to malware or hacking.
  • Staying on top of the latest available software patches and moving to automated patch management can protect against a breach.

 

 

Enforce password complexity

  • In 2014, the breaches serviced by Beazley due to hacking or malware cost 4.5 times more than any other type of breach.
  • Computer systems can now systematically cycle through all permutations of potential passwords.
  • Don’t use “bad” passwords that are easy to crack … dictionary words are capable of being deduced with an algorithm.

 

 

 Be alert to phishing

  • From 2013 to 2014, Beazley has seen a 10% increase in breaches due to someone inside the company--either an employee or contractor.
  • Most breaches occur because of human error. Training is a critical step in breach preparedness. It is important to train employees to spot the indicators of a phishing email.

 

Double check before hitting send

  • Thirty percent of the breaches serviced by Beazley in 2014 were due to unintended disclosure.
  • It may be simple, but double-checking the contents of a file, email address or mailing details can really save--especially when sending data to outside vendors.

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