Data breaches is expanding globally and harming business growth. In a report published in 2020, IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost associated with a data breach was $4 million at the time.
It may not be possible to avoid all data breaches, but you may reduce the risks by ensuring you and your team handle people’s data with extra care.
You need to do this by law. Though it may as well makes business sense since data breach might turn out to be expensive to put right.
What Data Breach Is
Breach of data refers to a security incident where external attackers or malicious insiders have unauthorized access to sensitive and confidential data. A data breach is one of the most costly and common cybersecurity incidents. It affects businesses of all geography, industry, and size and may happen with frightening regularity.
According to experts at Sangfor Technologies, the chances of experiencing data breaches are two in five over three years. The average cost of data breaches now exceeds $4.2 million and may range higher when additional expenses, like reputation damage and customer notifications, are considered.
Types of Data That May Leak
Breach of data may lead to several forms of information. Some of these data are not limited to the following:
- Sensitive and valuable information
- Intellectual property
- PHI (Personal Health Information)
- PII (Personally Identifiable Information)
- Financial data
How It Happens
A data breach can be more of a temporary terror. Individuals, businesses, and governments may experience a lot of complications from having very sensitive data exposed.
Whether online or offline, hackers may get to you via text messages, Bluetooth, the internet, or online services you use.
Without NDR (network detection response) and paying attention to detail, vulnerability may lead to a massive breach of data. And since most individuals are not aware of how modern security threats work, they don’t pay more attention to it.
Who Are More Targeted for Breach of Data?
Many major business organizations are the key targets for cybercriminals trying to cause a breach of data since they offer a large payload.
This payload may include many financial and personal data, like credit card numbers and login credentials. Once they have hold of this information, they may resell them on underground markets.
But attackers target everyone and anyone they may extract valuable information from. All confidential and personal data are valuable to cyber attackers. And it might be anyone willing to pay for them.
Causes of Breach
Data breaches have become more detrimental and frequent, and it’s vital to know the causes of those threats. The main vectors for organization-critical data exposure include:
- Security breaches in cloud applications through known vulnerabilities
- Access to valuable and sensitive data via stolen credentials
- Data theft carried out by workers through an unauthorized file transfer
- Social engineering and phishing techniques launched via emails
- Network security breaches perpetuated via malware attacks
What Attackers May Do with Stolen Data
Hackers tend to target valuable data like PII or corporate data they may sell for their financial gain. As hackers become more sophisticated, their strategies may become meticulously planned to identify people who are vulnerable to attacks and unearth susceptibilities.
After they get hold of the data, the impacts might be very damaging. Breaches of data may cause business organizations to lose data, which might be corporate secrets or sensitive financial details. They may as well suffer financial loss, reputation damage, and fines that are often irreparable.
Cyber-attack on government agencies may leave highly sensitive and confidential data, like political dealings, national infrastructure details, and military operations, exposed to foreign organizations, threatening the government and citizens.
People suffering from data breaches may lose their personal information, like Social Security numbers, health data, and banking details. Armed with these details, cybercriminals may steal a person’s identity, destroy their credit ratings, create a new identity for future attacks, spend cash on their credit cards, and gain access to their accounts.
Ways of Preventing Data Breaches
It has become commonplace to hear about big data breaches. Most people wonder how this keeps on happening. It might seem like all companies should take their data security seriously. Besides, a breach of data tarnishes a company’s reputations and costs billions of dollars.
So how could you possibly avoid this from taking place in your business organization?
Well, to help you prevent a breach of data, the following are strategies you may use to achieve the goal stress-free:
1. Educate Your Workers
Fighting ignorance is among the effective ways of preventing the breach of data. It is imperative to educate your workers on network detection and response and how to keep your data secure or from being compromised.
You may do this by helping your workers understand how to create a strong password and how regularly they need to change it. The training should also include helping them avoid, report, and spot phishing scams as well as other suspicious activities.
2. Consider Regular Audits
Complete audits to identify all the potential gaps in governance or compliance can help to validate security posture.
Security audits can be a thorough assessment of security policies compared to penetration testing or vulnerability assessment.
Audit of security considers the nature of business organizations as well as how they deal with security data. Some of the common questions which may pop up in security audits include:
- Do you have a log and security monitoring setup?
- Are there password and encryption policies?
- How are media and files backed up?
- Does your business organization have documented security policies?
- Are auditing logs reviewed?
3. Have Security Software in Place
If you want a better baseline of software, you might want to start looking at your endpoint detection response solutions, encryption, antivirus software, and enterprise firewall.
For a firewall, focus more on the kinds of attacks it can protect you from, not to mention the visibility degree as well as the flexibility it provides in terms of the way you configure it.
The Bottom Line!
Breaches of data are an expensive affair. Even a slight breach of data may cost a business organization thousands, if not millions, of dollars. And that cost is set to increase every year.
Organizations suffering a breach of data may as well risk facing reputational damage and legal action. This is why it is necessary to have the right measures or best practices in place to keep your data secure.