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In 2014, 90 percent of large organisations reported a security breach according to PwC. The average cost of such a breach can be as high as £3.14m. It’s enough to keep directors, senior partners and and practice managers awake at night.

In the financial and professional services sector you have access to a wealth of sensitive client data. You have a responsibility, not just to your firm but also to your clients, to protect this data. Not only that but that data is the lifeblood of your own business. Lose it and your business (and career) will suffer.

Protection starts with understanding what risks you face. Here are four business IT disasters you should prepare for.

Careless employees

Negligent or careless employees who don’t follow security policies were the biggest threat (78 percent) to computer security according to a Ponemon Institute study. The first line of defence is staff training and policies with appropriate access control to data. The second line of defence is a good backup.

Phishing scams

Earlier this year, seven companies, including Snapchat, fell victim to a simple phishing scam that left their employees’ payroll information exposed. A report by Verizon that looked at more than 79,000 security incidents revealed that ‘a campaign of just 10 e-mails yields a greater than 90 percent chance that at least one person will become the criminal’s prey.’

Data Loss

Data is the foundation upon which your business is built. Losing it almost doesn’t bear thinking about because the impact is grave. Your clients’ and/or employees’ personal information is exposed and your reputation is in tatters. Nearly half of companies that experience a major loss of data go out of business almost immediately according to Gartner. This is why it’s so important to have high levels of security for your storage and backup systems.

Hardware Failure

Servers can crash. Computers, like humans, are not invincible and all manner of things can flip the switch and shut your hardware down. In 2015, International Financial Data Services (IFDS) experienced a systems hardware failure that prevented them from operating. Later, in October, Lloyds bank had a similar issue leaving 22 million customers unable to access their money. This underlines the urgent importance of good business continuity plans to ensure that critical business operations aren’t interrupted by IT problems.



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