Following news that the University of East Anglia has mistakenly sent sensitive records to hundreds of their students, Richard Anstey, CTO EMEA at Synchronoss commented below.
Richard Anstey, CTO EMEA at Synchronoss:
“Malicious hacking attacks like Wannacry cause regular headlines, but in reality mistakes like this are the mainstay of data leaks. Accidental data loss is common and can have a huge impact, especially when it concerns sensitive personal data like this. But all too often it goes unreported.
“There are a number of ways organisations, including universities, can respond to an incident like this. Firstly, they can try to minimise human error altogether through training, procedures and protocols. This action is often taken by companies following an accidental data leak. But training alone isn’t enough as humans will always be prone to error.
“It is more effective to combine the “human route” with technology that enables companies to cope with accidental errors more efficiently. There are now ways in which companies can instantly revoke access to shared documents at the push of a button – or “unshare” files. This gives more control back to organisations when the inevitable occurs, as employees are always sharing confidential data with third parties.
“Eliminating human error is a huge ask. However, there are ways in which educational institutions, highly regulated industries and any other companies handling extremely sensitive data can control what information is shared, and who sees it. This incident at the University of East Anglia should provoke businesses and universities alike to tighten up technology controls in an attempt to control human error.”