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The pandemic has heightened the risk of data breaches that could expose corporations to a great deal of liability, so it’s imperative that they start to take steps to mitigate the risk immediately.

The year 2020 saw unprecedented levels of hacking if the data is anything to go by. Analysis firm Canalys reported that more data records had been compromised in 2020 alone than in the past 15 years combined. The 31 billion data records compromised last year marked an increase of 171 percent from 2019, and easily makes up more than half of the 55 billion data records that have been compromised in total since 2005.

Industry experts say that the big spike can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased the cybersecurity threat faced by corporations. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced corporations to embrace a ‘new normal,’” says Jenkins Fung, the Hong Kong-based advisory and corporate development team lead at SS&C Intralinks. “Corporations have had to pivot and accommodate employees working from home and remote collaborations both internally and externally regardless of how ready the security infrastructure is. This has emboldened malicious, opportunistic criminals to step up and increase their attacks on individuals, companies, institutions, and governments.

Fung says this scenario exposes corporations to a variety of compliance and regulatory risks. “In terms of regulatory compliance, one thing that hits most companies is the obligation to put measures such as firewall and data encryption in place to secure their systems,” he notes. “In the case of a security incident or data breach, timely and accurate reporting to the authorities is also required or the company risks reputational damage, regulatory and operational impact, fines and other penalties for non-compliance. It has never been more important for companies to stay on top of their obligations and regulatory changes.”

COMBATING THE THREAT

However, companies are not just sitting idly when it comes to this unprecedented assault from hackers. “We see that companies are putting processes, measures and tools such as using third-party enterprise-grade solutions in place to secure data management, secure document exchange as an alternative to emails and Information Rights Management (IRM) to control granular data access,” reports Fung. “There has also been an increasing need in keeping track of data movement and a full audit trail which will serve as proof of compliance with relevant regulations in the event of an incident.”

To assist corporations in this regard, SS&C Intralinks offers different kinds of solutions, including virtual data rooms (VDRs) and secure document-sharing. “Our advantages in short: security, simplicity, insight and efficiency,” says Fung. “Intralinks VDRs and secure document sharing solutions feature the processes, controls, and reporting required safeguarding sensitive data and reducing operational and regulatory risk. Intralinks’ risk-based solutions are fully configurable into a firm’s infrastructure to strengthen the protection and tracking of legal documents, and create a secure data environment for sharing large amounts of digital information over the web.”

“In the foreseeable future, companies will need to focus on ramping up digital vigilance and cybersecurity savvy. The coronavirus pandemic necessitated a rise in remote working and the ‘new normal’ of work will stay. This calls for an investment in secure collaboration solutions.”

—Jenkins Fung, SS&C Intralinks

These will become increasingly important as cyber threats increase even more over the coming years. “Cyber threats have continued to grow in complexity and sophistication, requiring a multi-dimensional approach to managing them,” says Fung. “In the foreseeable future, companies will need to focus on ramping up digital vigilance and cybersecurity savvy. The coronavirus pandemic necessitated a rise in remote working and the ‘new normal’ of work will stay. This calls for an investment in secure collaboration solutions.”   

 

To contact the editorial team, please email ALBEditor@thomsonreuters.com.