When private or confidential information that is held by a firm is exposed, it can have a serious impact on its business and any individuals involved. While the exact results of such an event will depend on many factors, firms can find themselves facing heavy costs both in the short and long-term. In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at data leaks, explaining what they entail, what the consequences can be, what actions to take when they occur and ways to mitigate potential damage.

What is a data breach?

A data leak, otherwise known as a data breach, involves the disclosure or loss of information that is being stored or used by a company. This information may be sensitive in nature and may be related to a company. However, it can also involve individuals, who are known as data subjects.

A data breach can be caused by a cybercriminal penetrating company devices or networks and viewing or stealing confidential information. It can also occur when sensitive files are accidentally destroyed, mistakenly sent to the wrong email address or shared with unauthorised individuals.

How much does it cost to fix a data breach?

How expensive a data leak is to fix will depend on the type of data involved and how strong security measures were. For example, if the data exposed was sensitive and belonged to data subjects who could be put at risk by the disclosure, these individuals may demand compensation. If data regulators find a firm’s security measures inadequate, they may also charge them hefty fines.

Regardless of these issues, other costs can quickly rack up. System downtime can be expensive, as can forensic investigations into breaches. On top of this, there is also the cost of installing new security defences that will prevent such incidents from occurring again.

What are the long-term impacts of a data leak?

Data breaches can be damaging when they make the headlines. If your firm earns the reputation of being untrustworthy when it comes to data security, it can lead your clients to turn to your competitors.

What action must companies take when a data breach occurs?

As soon as a data breach is identified, all data subjects whose personal information was disclosed must be informed of the incident. A report must also be made to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) detailing the incident within 72 hours.

How can the Galaxkey workspace help companies mitigate risks?

The Galaxkey secure workspace was developed to offer firms greater control of their data and to keep it free from cybersecurity risks. The platform presents enterprise professionals with innovative options to safeguard both company data and any data retained or handled that involves customers, clients or members of the public.

The user-friendly encryption service can be easily activated and allows employees to protect data from prying eyes with three-layer encryption. No passwords are ever stored, and the system has zero backdoors for hackers and other threat operators to exploit. Contact our specialist team today and ramp up your security measures with a free online demonstration.