Complete I.T. Blog

2019 Data Breaches and How You Can Work Smarter and Safer in 2020

by | Jan 2, 2020 | Archived Articles

Work smarter in 2020

In 2019 we saw a 54% increase in the number of reported breaches when compared to the first 6 months of 2018. There were 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches and 4.1 billion records exposed, this is because cyber criminals have become more sophisticated and as a result our personal data has been put at risk.

There is hope for a brighter 2020 where we can work smarter, use stronger passwords, enable 2FA and MFA,  restrict access to certain data and implement a multi-layered approach to your cyber security.

Types of data breaches

Cyber criminals use different methods to steal your company data, from malware to ransomware and phishing and employees are your weakest link. Cyber criminals will often sell your data on the dark web which can result in other crimes such as identify theft and fraud and with ransomware, they bully you into paying a ransom for your data back. It is so important to to educate your teams on what to spot when it comes to cyber crime, so they are prepared and your business is at less risk.There is also always the small chance that a malicious employee may steal your data and put it in the wrong hands.

Steps to help prevent data breaches

Cyber threats are continually evolving and are ever more sophisticated which is why it is so important you implement a multi-layered approach to your IT security to give you high levels of security and peace of mind. At the heard of our solution is a FireWall Device which is installed on all of your PC’s, laptops and servers to check for suspicious behaviour. Intrusion Prevention System, Gateway Anti-Virus, Data Loss Prevention, WebBlocker, APT Blocker and Application Control are among some of the features of our Cyber Security Solution. If you are in need of a Cyber Security Solution, learn more here.

  • implement a Password Policy within your business

It’s a good idea to implement a password policy within your business to ensure your team are using strong/ difficult to guess passwords which are hard for cyber criminals to crack, rather than being hacked in a matter of minutes with “password1234.” Educate your team on what makes a strong password with our tips below.

How to create strong password? 

It is suggested that your password shouldn’t be less than 15 characters long and you’ll need a mix of upper-case, lower-case, numbers and symbols. Avoid using actual words and common phrases as this makes it easy for the hacker, instead replace symbols for some characters. A good way to create a new memorable password is to think of 3 random words, for example: Satsuma, green and blossom. To make this password into a strong one…



  • Capitalise the “S” and “B”
  • Replace certain letters with symbols, such as “a” with “@” so it is easy to remember but still harder for a hacker to crack
  • Add in an extra symbol at the end for extra protection – “#”


  • Restrict who can view, edit, copy, and download 

SharePoint is a great application to organise, store, access and share your documents files a images securely. You’re able to access everything in one central location, access anywhere and anytime as well as collaborate on the same document with other people at the same time. You are also able to make restrictions on who and what people are able to view, edit, copy, delete and download which can come in handy. Not everyone needs to access everything that is going on within your business so to keep your data whether if it is stored on SharePoint or any application or database, ensure you are restricting your data appropriately.

Simply put, 2FA is an extra layer of protection on the account or platform you are using. To login to an account you would usually have a username or account number followed by a password which would be the first layer. The second layer could be a secret question you need to answer up signing in and on top of this multi layered authentication could be connecting your mobile number on top of the first 2 layers of protection. It is strongly recommended that 2FA is used to help prevent a hacker from accessing your data.

Unfortunately, in some circumstances it is hard to prevent a data breach from occurring but there is a way to bounce back. With a Disaster Recovery Solution in place you can retrieve your lost data and continue to operate business as usual with limited downtime, reduced customer complaints and minimal damage to reputation. This means that you can say “no” to paying the ransom and instead gain your data back from your back up. If you use office 365 you may be under the impression that your data is already being backed up but in fact there is only a basic level of back up. For more information, read our blog: “Why is backing up O365 important?”.

It is important to choose a solution that is suited to your business needs and regularly backs up multiple times a day to ensure when you do retrieve the data, it is the most up to data version of that data.

Under GDPR you must be able to prove that you have taken the necessary measures to protect your data, therefore it is advised to take the discussed prevention tips above otherwise your company may face fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover.

Other things to consider:


If you are in need of cyber security help or a Disaster Recovery Solution for your business please contact us below:

01628 243 070

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