The Dos and Don'ts Following a Data Breach

By: Rick Ferguson | 5/25/2016

A recent survey showed that 63% of organizations in Australia experienced a cybersecurity incident or breach in 2015, with more than half of them listed as “serious.” Large scale breaches such as those experienced by Kmart and David Jones, and widely publicized breaches at Aussie Farmers Direct and Queensland TAFE, have rocked consumer confidence on the state of data security in Australia.

The proposed amendment to the government’s data breach notification bill, coupled with the loss in consumer trust and hard costs associated with these data breaches, is forcing Australian organizations to improve their data security practices. I recently contributed an article to CSO Online in Australia to talk about A Data Breach Post Mortem: The Dos and Don’ts. In the article, I talk about the importance of building out a data-led security plan (both for data breach prevention and response).

Following a data breach, there is often a knee-jerk reaction to clamp down on employees’ use of data, particularly on the endpoint. Treating data as the “bad guy” is often short-sighted, reducing business agility and restricting employee productivity and morale. The end result is unhappy employees who are probably going to evade those restrictive policies anyway. While an awareness of data security risk is healthy, data is not the bad guy.

The ideal approach is data-led, supported by the whole organization, and equips employees with tools and training to embrace flexible and mobile working strategies. The way you manage data security risks simply changes:

  1. Set out a clear and concise policy on how data and devices can be used. Employees need to understand when they have breached the policy.
  2. Prioritize training and education to address the most common causes of data breaches: the human element. Most aspects of the Insider Threat are non-malicious, so creating effective training is key to prevention.
  3. Choose technology to help protect your key data: to know where it is at all times, to know when it’s at risk, and to protect it (by remotely deleting the data or disabling the device it’s on) if and when a data breach occurs.

At Absolute, our unrivalled endpoint data security offering helps secure your endpoints and the sensitive data they contain, with automated alerts and monitoring, regardless of user or location. Our Persistence technology is embedded into the core of over a billion endpoints. Once activated, it provides you with comprehensive visibility into all of your devices enabling you to confidently manage mobility, investigate potential threats, and take action if a security incident occurs. No other technology can do this.

Learn more about the Absolute DDS difference at

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