4 signs your company could be suffering a data breach

While no business or IT department wants to think about a data breach happening to them, data breaches occurring throughout 2020 are projected to cost organizations up to 2.1 trillion. -That’s more than four times the cost of breaches that occurred in 2015. The only good news, early detection can make a difference. Companies researched in an IBM study that detected and contained a breach in less than 200 days spent $1.2 million less on the total cost of their breach. So what can you look for and what does your team need to know about common signs your company might be suffering a data breach?


Does someone know what kind of activity is “normal” on your network?

Does your organization monitor its data in real time? Do you know if something unusual is happening with your data? And do you have a plan in place to report how to handle reporting “unusual” behavior. Lastly, has your team been trained on this protocol? Simply having a plan in place is one thing, but having a team that knows how to execute the plan is something totally different. After one major retailer’s data breach the media reported the team opted to set aside reports of abnormal activity because they couldn’t agree if it “warranted immediate follow-up.”


Is your Internet or network unusually slow?

This type of complaint from users is often disregarded because it can feel like users are just being crabby or overly sensitive. However, it can be a sign of malware or viruses or suspicious outbound traffic. Users should always report of slowly operating pieces of their system. As it can be a factor in diagnosing a potential threat.


Has a network connected device been tampered with?

Did a user shut down their device, leave their desk, and return to find it running? This could be a sign that the device itself has been tampered with by an on-site user, or it’s being accessed remotely. This should be reported and investigated as soon as possible. The other common signs that a device has been tampered with are fake antivirus warnings popping up, new browser extensions being installed, and an increase in pop-up messages. Ideally, your users have been trained to look for these unusual signs and will report them if they experience them.


Is one or more user suddenly locked out of a system?

We’ve all likely seen the movie where the superstar tries to login at multiple workstations, but is locked out. If users are suddenly unable to access their accounts using verified sign in credentials, it could be a sign that a cyber-criminal has already accessed the system(s) and locked out the user(s). Users should be trained on your company password policy, and understand their part in insuring their passwords are up to date and secure.


These are simply 4 things your team can be monitoring to insure your company isn’t experiencing a data breach. Unfortunately, there are dozens of other things that could happen to expose your company and its data to a data breach, the biggest of which is human error. According to the earlier mentioned IBM study, breaches from human error ($3.5 million breach cost) and system glitches ($3.24 million breach cost) were the cause for nearly half (49%) of the data breaches in the report.

With our Shred Right Readiness Pro package powered by CSR Privacy Solutions, you’ll have powerful diagnostic tools to identify areas that your company should tighten up its policies, procedures and data retention practices. Plus, you’ll have a library of best practices to consult when you develop new policies or procedures. And, should you suffer a data breach because someone on your team experienced one of the four common data breach signs, you’ll have the support of the trained professionals at CSR to help you notify your customers and the appropriate agencies if necessary.