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Corporate data breaches have skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic

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(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Ai825)

Since the majority of the workforce traded the office for a home working environment, the number of data incidents has increased by a fifth.

This is according to a new report from digital marketing firm Reboot Online, which says that, in most cases, former executives and employees are behind the breaches.

Reboot polled roughly 1,200 business owners and employees across the UK and discovered that 44 percent have found a former employee trying to access corporate apps and data, up from 37 percent before the pandemic.

In most cases, former executives and managers were looking at private chat data, but they would also sometimes seek out learning resources. For Reboot, this isn't surprising, given how many people wanted to upskill and reskill during the lockdown.

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Aside from chats and learning resources, the culprits would also attempt to access old emails, client information, internal reports and toolsets.

Businesses aren't exactly making it hard for them, either. Almost four in five (79 percent) businesses don't change all their security passwords (opens in new tab)after an employee departs, and 71% don't offer proper personnel password training to employees.

“The first step to ensure the adequate protection of your business is to train your staff to be aware of the importance of data security,” said Shai Aharony, CEO and Founder at Reboot Online. “This will ensure everyone avoids mistakes that can lead to unwanted breaches. It should, in fact, be part of your company culture.”

“Secondly, make sure to carry out risk assessments often, especially after the departure of an employee - whether they left on good terms or not, you can never be too sure of the intention of others.”

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.