Personal data breaches are well known for causing chaos and costing companies dearly. Social media and new headlines are teeming with organisations of all sizes facing severe fines while suffering a loss in revenue or reputation because of a breach.

Preventative measures are advisable to avoid a personal data breach, but if your firm suffers this unfortunate event, acting efficiently and correctly is crucial.

In this blog, we’ll list some important points every organisation should know when an incident occurs.

Defining a personal data breach

A personal data breach happens when cybersecurity measures are penetrated or when protective protocols are not adhered to, resulting personal data loss, alteration or disclosure. Breaches may be caused by an accident or as part of a cybercriminal campaign.

For instance, a personal data breach might involve a third-party entity accessing information without appropriate authorisation, or the accidental or purposeful deletion of private information. A data breach can also be caused when in information is erroneously sent to an incorrect recipient, or when a threat operator hacks a system or steals a device holding personal data.

Conducting a risk assessment

After a breach has been identified by a business, it must assess the extent of the incident and any potential risk to data subjects and the company. If the assessment arrives at the finding that data was exposed in the breach, rapid action is imperative. Firms must isolate, lock or shut down system access to block further threats. A best practice to adopt is a forced password reset.

Breach notifications

Organisations must disclose the breach. Any data subjects whose personal information has been compromised must be informed, whether they are company employees, suppliers, or clients. Data subjects must be told the type of data exposed – such as credit card or bank details, names, addresses and phone numbers – and given advice on measures that they should take, such as changing their passwords or getting a credit report.

Organisations must report a data breach to the UK’s dedicated data regulator. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) typically gives enterprises that have suffered a breach 72 hours to report and incident, although communication service providers should alert the regulator within 24 hours.


Following their report, firms must investigate the breach and ensure it cannot occur in the future. If a staff member made an error, retraining will be required and if a system has a weakness to exploit, a more comprehensive security solution may be necessary.

Protecting your data from breaches

The best way to safeguard the data that you handle and store is to use encryption. At Galaxkey, our secure solution offers robust three-layer encryption that ensures whether your data is sent to an incorrect email address or exfiltrated by an attacker, it will remain utterly private. Approved by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) our encryptions solution is exceptionally user friendly, ensuring it will be used correctly.

To start your free 14-day trial of cutting-edge encryption and avoid the unnecessary stress of a breach, contact our team today.