Simple steps such as updating security or implementing security patches on an IT system can help to ward off any potential data breaches, a leading expert told Shannon Chamber members during a recent webinar.
The event, which was organised to help companies manage the high stakes data protection risks they may face as their employees return to post-COVID workplaces, was delivered by Michael Murphy, a partner with leading corporate law firm Holmes, and Garrett O’Neill, assistant Commissioner with the Data Protection Commission Ireland.
Advising how data breaches can occur, Mr O’Neill stated it can be as simple as sending company-sensitive information to an incorrect email address, or working off personal email addresses for work, which should not be allowed. He also advised attendees to take note of every breach, no matter how simple, and to deal with these immediately and efficiently to guard against any such occurrences in the future. Breaches that do occur must be reported to the Data Protection Commission within 72 hours,” he said.
Having dealt with 270 breaches so far this year, Mr O’Neill’s advice was well received by webinar participants.
Holmes’ Michael Murphy is vastly experienced in advising companies on their data protection obligations having dealt with a variety of data breach claims for companies and professionals and their insurers and successfully recovered a six figure sum misappropriated by cyber criminals from a Dublin law firm by tracing the funds to Eastern Europe, freezing them, and overseeing the necessary application to have them returned to Ireland. He also lectures on data protection at the Law Society of Ireland and at seminars, webinars, and conferences.
“Communication is key in the post-COVID workplace,” he advised attendees adding that data protection is paramount in the new hybrid working environment that is emerging.
Sharing information on how to protect devices, emails, cloud, and network access, he also pointed out that data protection applies not only to electronically stored or processed data, but also to personal data in manual format, such as paper records, where it is, or is intended to be, part of a fling system.
“Take steps to ensure the security and confidentiality of these records when working remotely,” he advised.
Stating that remote working makes companies feel more vulnerable to data protection breaches and cyber-attacks, he advised attendees that no organisation is too small or too large, or insignificant to escape the attention of cyber criminals and stressed the essentiality of identifying gaps or vulnerabilities that might cause such breaches.
“Communication in the new world of work is key; having a data protection policy in place is essential,” he stated.
This event is one in a series of events being organised jointly by Shannon Chamber and Holmes. Check out www.shannonchamber.ie/events-training/ for details of all upcoming events and training.