Data Breaches Can Happen On and Off Line. Is Your Business Ready?

In the digital world we are living in, hacking and cyber-attacks are a constant threat to businesses big and small. You need to keep your client’s sensitive information safe.

But data breaches don’t just happen online, they can happen off line too. This makes data protection even more important. Here is what you need to know to keep your business safe.

Holding futuristic tablet with DATA BREACH inscription, cyber security concept.

How Data Breaches Happen

A data breach can occur anytime sensitive or confidential data is released to an untrusted recipient. Once this happens there is an increased risk of this information being viewed and/or used by an unauthorized party. This information can range from financial and health information to trade secrets and security.

Most think of cybercriminals hacking in to big companies when they think of data breaches. But if data protection isn’t taken seriously, it can happen to small companies that simply don’t protect their documents. There have been cases of criminals obtaining passwords and social security numbers by just checking trash.

Once confidential information is obtained in a physical form, like documents, it is virtually impossible to block or get back. If data is disposed of improperly, it can be found by criminals looking to make a quick buck off of someone else’s dime.

Types of Data Breaches

In order to combat date beaches, you need to know what to look out for. Some of the most common data protection issues include:

Offline Breaches

It doesn’t take an online attack to open you up to a data breach. Many incidents don’t involve technology at all. A study by Verizon found a significant number of data breaches occurred because of physical actions. This includes someone stealing paperwork and documents not being disposed of properly.

Unauthorized Use

Sometimes small businesses don’t understand the importance of limiting who has access to sensitive information. Without malicious intent, someone may access data they should not see. It may then be left out in the open for anyone to pass along. Putting security measures and protocols in place should never be overlooked.

Deliberate Malicious Intent

Never underestimate the criminal mind. Thieves are lurking out there just waiting for you to let your guard down. Crooks target business they perceive are easy targets and wait for the moment confidential data is exposed in order to take it and use it for their own benefit.


Malware, or malicious software, is the fourth most common cause of data breaches. Malware is a program designed to scan the memory of digital devices to collect sensitive information. Malware can be as simple as an old-fashioned computer virus that attacks your computer and leaves you helpless.

Human Error

Mistakes happen even with the most stringent security measures. But, unfortunately, not following protocols and simple human error can allow sensitive material to fall into the wrong hands. Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report shows 22% of data breaches are caused by human error.

How to Prevent a Data Breach

The best way to protect your business and your clients is to stay on top of your organization’s threats. You can do this by employing system monitoring and performing risk assessments. You should also restrict the unauthorized transfer and duplication of data. This should include placing extreme importance of secure document disposal and data destruction services.

Most businesses are not prepared for a data breach. AccuShred offers a powerful program called CSR Readiness Pro which includes a proactive risk assessment and a reactive Breach Reporting Service. Once you have identified the potential gaps in your cybersecurity measures through the self-assessment tool, you can further develop your organization’s protocols to increase your data security both on and off line.

In the event of a data breach, AccuShred will be here to assist with that too by connecting you with the appropriate professionals at CSR. Once connected, their team will ask the necessary questions and guide you through every step. The CSR Readiness Pro system includes a patented reporting service. Mandated federal and state notifications can be done for you, along with help in notifying your customers.

Start protecting your business today. AccuShred offers reliable and affordable data protection and data destruction services for companies like yours. We believe in what we do and are confident you will be too. Contact AccuShred today to see what we can do to help protect you from an avoidable data breach.