Storing lots of data may be essential for your business to function. You might hold files on customers, investors, and employees that contain reams of sensitive data, in order to deal with queries, process claims, or simply pay your staff.
However, if this data were to get into the wrong hands, it can be disastrous for your business. With over 480 million records breached in 2022, it’s more important than ever to lock down your data and protect your business from data leaks.
Companies all around the world use SaaS applications like Slack, Google Drive, and Jira every day. But employees may be fooled into thinking that just because the tools are familiar to them, they’re perfectly secure.
If your business stores lots of data in SaaS applications, it can make your company look more attractive to criminals who may want to access your data.
In addition, you might be breaking laws such as GDPR or HIPAA which can cause huge reputational and financial damage to your business.
Holding lots of data in your SaaS applications can also mean you’re storing too much data to manage, making it more likely that if it leaked or you were faced with an insider threat, you may not notice until it’s too late.
Data has become a currency in its own right, allowing hackers to sell it on the dark web, or hold it to ransom for cash. Because data is so valuable, hackers can use it to make a profit.
They can also expose your company’s data for their own satisfaction, simply to prove that they can hack into your database. While this will win them respect from fellow hackers, it could spell disaster for your business - especially when your customers discover how easy it is for their data to be stolen.
The more data you accumulate, the more inviting your database looks to hackers. That’s because the more data they can steal, the more money they can get from selling it.
“You should always ensure any third party providers who are looking after your data have been vetted thoroughly to make sure they’re as secure as possible,” says cybersecurity expert, Dan Russell. “Check whether they’re SOC 2 compliant and make sure they haven’t been involved in any data breaches or leaks before you sign a contract with them.”
If your data is leaked, it could have a huge impact on your business. For instance, you may take a financial hit, especially if those involved file lawsuits against you or you’re breaching GDPR regulations which can result in a fine of up to 10 million euros or up to 2% of the company’s global turnover - whichever is higher.
Possibly worse than the fiscal implications are the reputational ones that can hang around for years to come. As customers learn that their data isn’t being protected effectively, they may choose to move their business elsewhere, resulting in more financial losses.
It’s better to prevent a data leak in the first place, than try to make reparations afterwards. Once the damage is done, it can take a long time to repair it.
There are a few different ways you can prevent data leaks to keep your business safe.
Using a data security tool like Metomic for your business can help you minimise the amount of data you store. Try out our free Google Drive scanner to see where data could be hiding in your workspace, and who has access to it.