Data breaches are one of the biggest threats to businesses and organisations that collect, store or process vast amounts of sensitive data. They can have a significant impact on a company’s reputation and brand value by endangering the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of its user data. This is why it’s so crucial to learn about how it could happen and take proactive steps to minimise the risk of a data breach.


What is security incident management?

Security incident management is a process of reacting to an incident threatening your organisation’s cyber security, such as data breaches. An effective incident response plan will help an organisation identify critical assets and contain the effects of data breaches and other cybersecurity threats.


What is a data breach?

A data breach occurs when sensitive information has been exposed to an unauthorised person. Usually, data breaches transpire through someone inside the organisation, either acting unintentionally or with malicious intent, cyber criminals outside the company, or through physically losing or having a device stolen.


How does a data breach impact organisations?

There are numerous consequences that can result from a data breach. Individuals, partners, and the organisation can be affected in the form of reputational, financial, physical, and emotional harm. This is why cyber security is so critical, because the effects of a breach can be so widespread. With the rising cost of data breaches, the financial loss for an organisation can be devastating to recover from. It can harm the success of an organisation which is why it’s always recommended to be proactive, and prepare for cyber security breaches.




The consequences of data breaches can include:

  • Identity theft
  • Theft of sensitive corporate information
  • Fraud
  • Unwelcome marketing and spam emails
  • Financial loss
  • Employment termination
  • Damage to reputation
  • Loss of business opportunities
  • Humiliation or embarrassment
  • Emotional distress
  • Legal implications
  • Operational shutdown or disruption to trading


Recently, Optus, one of the largest telecommunications companies in Australia, has been the subject of a very damaging data breach. Thousands of current and former customers were victims of this data breach, which led to confidential information such as names, dates of birth, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, driver’s license, and passport numbers being leaked. While Optus has been trying to mitigate the harm caused, they’ve already lost customer trust and experienced damage to its reputation. Optus is also potentially facing huge legal fines of millions of dollars as well as financial loss to recover customers’ re-issue of compromised IDs.


Why is risk management beneficial in cyber security?

Unlike security incident management, risk management takes a more preventative approach to proactively minimise threats to cyber security or other risks to a company. With a proper risk management strategy in place, organisations can remediate their weakness and put up the appropriate defences.


How to minimise security breaches in an organisation

There are many crucial steps to improving the cybersecurity of your organisation, here are some things you should do:

  • Install the latest virus scanner and keep it up-to-date on all your devices
  • Ensure that your wireless network is always password protected
  • Use two-factor authentication for all accounts if possible
  • Beware of suspicious emails and don’t open them if they’re not from a contact you trust
  • Keep all other software and operating systems up-to-date as older versions can have security gaps that make you more vulnerable to a data breach


How can you stop a data breach?

The best way to manage a data breach is to:

  1. Follow your data breach response plan
  2. Collect evidence and record details
  3. Contain the data breach
  4. Begin data breach response management
  5. Undertake investigation, fix affected systems, and invest in breach protection


Prevent the likelihood of a data breach by working with FraudWatch

FraudWatch is the leading provider of phishing detection, protection, and takedown services worldwide. Consult with our experts to find out you can best protect your organisation from data breaches. We offer threat hunting, intelligence, and takedown services to minimise phishing, malware, brand abuse, and social media impersonation.