As if having your data stolen, accessed, and shared online isn’t bad enough, now employees have to fear this constant threat in the workplace. Data security and the rise of data breaches are frequently making headlines as businesses and individuals face more data leaks and breaches than ever before. Employees are also starting to feel the strain as their information gets leaked. But what effect does data breaches have on staff?
This article will look at data breaches, the type of information that gets leaked, and some cases of leaks. We’ll also look at how these leaks affect employees and how a US proxy and other measures protect them. Learn more about these proxies in this post.
How Do Data Leaks Occur?
Although the occurrence of data breaches has seen a slight decline, it’s still reported that users experienced 52 million data breaches in the second quarter of 2022. This is approximately 56% down from the previous quarter, which is substantial. However, it still remains a significant threat, especially to clients and employees of businesses involved in a breach.
Some of the ways that leaks can occur include the following:
- User error
- Third-party exposure
- Brute force attacks
- Weak or stolen credentials
- Malicious insider
What Can Be Done With The Leaked Information
While some breaches happen unintentionally, others are carefully orchestrated by cybercriminals. Even if a breach occurs accidentally, the information is released onto the web; there’s no guarantee who’s seen it and what they do with it.
One of the main reasons why cybercriminals might want this information is to launch more advanced phishing or ransomware attacks. Suppose they have the personal details of all the employees at a company. In that case, it’s much easier for them to pose as a senior official in the company and gain access to otherwise restricted networks.
Fraud is another big reason why criminals want this information. If they have your full name, birthdate, and social security number, these criminals can apply for credit cards and loans in your name. This type of identity theft is more common than many care to believe and can be very detrimental to the individual’s livelihood and credit.
Cases Where Data Breaches Affected Employees
When we hear about data breaches, they often focus on the effect on consumers who trusted the company to protect their information. But what about the employees? It often happens that when a breach occurs, employee data is released as well.
Let’s look at a few recent breaches where employee data was the target.
Regus, a popular competitor in the remote office solutions industry, recently experienced a data breach where detailed information regarding 900 employees’ job performance was leaked. This spreadsheet became visible to anyone via a simple Google spreadsheet. This document contained the names and email addresses of regional managers as well as their performance outcomes.
Palo Alto Networks
The data breach that contained the personal information of past and present employees at Palo Alto Networks signified the risk that businesses have from breaches caused by third-party services. Since this attack, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of breaches caused by third-party vendors.
Effects of Data Breaches on Employees
After a data breach, there are a few different ways that businesses can measure the effect it’s had on the company. A business can measure financial losses by looking at reputational costs and regulatory fines. However, one area that’s often overlooked is the effect on employees.
IT professionals at Carbonite started recording employee statistics after a breach; this is what they discovered:
- 25% of employees noted that their work and life balance was impacted
- 24% of businesses saw a significant drop in morale among employees
- 21% of managers said their teams became micro-managed following a breach
- 15% of businesses saw employees fired or laid off following a breach
- 11% of businesses saw employees quitting after a breach
Ways To Avoid Data Breaches
Businesses can protect their company from data breaches in a few different ways. The first step starts with employee education. It’s important for businesses to teach their employees about the risks of breaches, how they occur, and even what to do in case they suspect a breach.
Another security measure is to use a high-quality US proxy to protect your entire business network and all devices. By using a location-specific US proxy, the IP of your network will be changed to that of another device located in the US. This adds an additional layer of security to your network and makes it more difficult to be breached.
If you have remote workers who access to sensitive company data, the risks of data breeches increase as these employees are not behind the safety of a corporate firewall. Therefore, your remote employees must use residential proxies. Reputable rotating residential proxies can mask users’ IP addresses and make it look like they are accessing the internet from a home network. The use of proxies make your company data and your employees’ devices much harder for hackers to target.
You can take more measures, such as ensuring that all software and hardware are up to date and that you have security procedures and policies that limit data access to only a few required.
Employees are the first ones to suffer because of data breaches. Not only is there a strong likelihood that their information is part of the breach, but they also have to deal with other repercussions to their work and livelihood. As such, employees have the right to demand that their data be stored securely by the business and only shared when necessary, with enough security to ensure it isn’t leaked.