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31% Of Companies Fired Staff Over Data Breaches

Now that the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has come into full effect, it’s vital that companies ensure staff members are properly trained and that refresher training takes place in order to reduce the chances of a data breach taking place.

Of course, you can never fully eliminate the risk and if someone is determined to hack into your systems, chances are they’ll be successful. But you can certainly reduce the risk of a data breach taking place because of human error on the part of your members of staff.

And it seems that this is a necessary step to take, given new research from Shred-it showing that 31 per cent of companies in the UK that have suffered a data breach have actually ended someone’s contract with them for negligence.

The company’s State of the Industry Report, which it releases once a year, has found that businesses do indeed understand that employee negligence has a big part to play with regards to data security breaches. What’s more, 88 per cent of C-suites at big organisations believe that this is one of the biggest information security risks of them all, a feeling shared by 49 per cent of small businesses.

But it’s important to note that the study also showed that even though companies are enlightened in this regard, this has not resulted in robust training programmes being set up in many companies. Just 55 per cent of big firms have trained their staff on public WiFi use, while just 70 per cent have provided training on how to identify fraudulent emails.

With regards to the GDPR, the survey found that only 66 per cent of large UK businesses and 26 per cent of smaller ones have offered their workers specific training.

“It might feel like rough justice for employees to be held to account when training is not comprehensive, but it reflects how difficult this process is, even for businesses with extensive resources. There may also be an assumption that some elements are common sense, but that potentially belies how easy it is to be duped by skilled phishers and hackers, or even to lose confidential info during the course of a busy day.

“Mindfulness is key and training helps. The lack of ubiquitous training on GDPR, for example, suggests that a large proportion of the British workforce is not appropriately trained for the kinds of safeguards necessary under GDPR,” vice-president of market development and integration for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region Neil Percy said.

There are lots of ways you can help reduce human error, from making it harder to make mistakes through automated safeguards like cryptography, or various strategies to help people do their jobs correctly, such as awareness campaigns, retraining, disciplinary steps and checklists.

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