Data breaches seem to make the news nearly every week, impacting businesses across the globe. Few companies are safe from these breaches, as both small retail stores and even government networks are at risk.
In many cases, data breaches don't occur as a result of a targeted cyberattack, but more often simply negligence when it comes to security. This is exactly what happened to a Texas-based health clinic.
Here, we'll take a look at what went wrong, and what businesses can do to prevent such breaches from occurring.
A health clinic based in the massive US state of Texas was recently the subject of a significant data breach, one that impacted around 8,700 individuals, including 6,300 patients. This is according to Statesman.com, which reported on the breach in February of this year.
An employee at the health clinic that maintained the website accidentally created a backup file that contained the data, which was accidently made available on the website. Unauthorised individuals then proceeded to download the file.
"We take the situation very seriously," CEO Rhonda Mundhenk explained to Statesman.com. "What we're focused on now is notifying our patients."
Names, phone numbers, birth days, social security numbers and addresses were all exposed on the website for nearly six months – obviously a significant risk for businesses.
SC Magazine reported on the event, explaining that the information was subsequently removed and the website company released. It's a good first step, but it could have been avoided with the right approach.
So how could this breach have been prevented? The answer may not be what most businesses think.
Preventing a breach
This data breach wasn't a result of security system failure, but a breakdown with regards to staff training. Such a breach could still have occurred even if the business was using the most capable and modern security systems.
To prevent this kind of breach from occurring, businesses need to put IT security training practices in place, specifically designed to teach staff best practice.
The number of data breaches that impact businesses aren't likely to slow down any time soon, especially given just how much information is stored on IT networks. This makes them a valuable target for cyberattackers.
Businesses should start considering the best ways to bring staff up to speed with security.