According to a recent report by CyberEdge in 2021, 86% of organisations were hit by a successful cyberattack. And information from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau shows that, in the 13 months up to February 2023, there were around 380,000 reports of fraud and cybercrime, costing around £4.2 billion in total.

This sort of crime includes a range of criminal activities, including identity theft, email phishing scams, IP theft, ransomware, malware and orchestrated activity like distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Central to practically all of them is data – your company’s data.

In this article, learn a variety of ways to help make sure your company’s data is well looked after, reducing the risk of a costly and avoidable data breach.

Understand and follow data law
Data protection regulations in the UK revolve around the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

This law, which all companies are subject to, sets out how you can collect, store, and manage data, so you should make sure you understand it and use your knowledge to set up solid policies for your business. Train staff in the policies too – everyone in the business should understand data law and be competent in handling data.

Create backups
All your important organisational data should be backed up away from computers which have access to the internet. That way, if you are hit by cybercrime, you can simply restore any data that is lost or corrupted – a big benefit when it comes down to enabling the continuity of your company.

To create effective backups, you need to start by identifying which data needs to be backed up, before putting it on the cloud, which holds your data remotely on the provider’s servers, or on physical memory mediums which use physical transistors to store information and can be locked away safely on your premises.

Restricted access
Rolling out a system whereby different employees and levels of seniority gain ‘need-to-know’ access to data can help reduce the risk of data leaks occurring. Fewer junior staff members having access to sensitive information will also help your company preserve its intellectual property too, as you can restrict access to a small cadre of trusted staff with proven retention.

Continually improve knowledge
As well as training employees on the basics of data security, it’s important to train employees up regularly by holding refresher training. This ensures your first line of defence against data breaches – your staff – are all in agreement on how to properly handle data and avoid cybercrime tactics such as phishing emails.