A new report from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International shows that 25% of data breaches in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) region in the past year have led to people losing their jobs.
The study, From data boom to data doom: The risks and rewards of protecting personal data, shows that 45% of businesses had at least one data breach in the last year and, as for the staff involved, they don’t always — not even at C-level — get to keep their jobs.
The range of employees laid off after a data breach demonstrates that the incident can affect anyone, and 2017 saw a wide variety of people fired due to data breaches, from CEOs to regular employees exposing the company customer data.
A total of 43% of META companies have also had to pay compensation to the customers affected, 35% reported problems attracting new customers and 36% have had to pay penalties and fines.
Data beyond control adds to the risk
In modern business, storing sensitive personal data is practically unavoidable. A total of 88% of businesses in the META region and 81% of businesses in South Africa collect and store their customers’ personally identifiable information. Moreover, in today’s increasingly complex environment, new regulations like GDPR mean that storing personal information comes with compliance risks too.
What makes these risks even more tangible is the actual reality of how businesses store data – around 13% of sensitive customer and corporate data in South Africa resides outside the corporate perimeter, in public cloud, BYOD devices and in SaaS applications, which makes controlling the data flow and keeping it safe a challenge for businesses.
Data protection measures beyond policies
There’s a need for security solutions that can protect data across the whole infrastructure – including cloud, devices and applications. Cybersecurity awareness among IT staff and beyond also needs to be improved, as more and more business units are now working with data, and thus need to understand how to keep it safe.
“While a data breach is devastating to a business, it can also have a very personal impact on people’s lives — whether they are customers or failed employees – so this is a reminder that cybersecurity has real-life implications and is in fact everyone’s concern,” said Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab.
“With data now travelling on devices and via the cloud, and with regulations like GDPR becoming enforceable, it’s vital that businesses pay even closer attention to their data protection strategies.”