Data breaches can have a significant impact (beyond money) on an organization, from customer defection and regulatory penalties to loss of brand trust, decreased productivity, and business continuity issues.
And, according to IBM1, the average cost of a data breach is surging (up 13% from 2020 to 2022).
This is troubling, to say the least, for businesses spanning virtually every industry, especially given the accelerating frequency of cyber breaches and their wide-reaching scope. Just look at the month of July 2022 alone, for example:
- July 22, 2022: Shields Health Care Group’s data breach involving 22 million names, social security numbers, medical records, etc.
- July 21, 2022: Twitter’s data breach involving emails and phone numbers of 5.42 million users.
- July 19, 2022: Neopets’ data breach involving 692 million users, including names, emails, dates of birth, zip codes, and more.
- July 6, 2022: Marriot’s data breach involving 202 GB worth of credit card information, confidential business documents, and customer payment information.
This is just one month, and these are just the big names that made the news! There are many, many others that go unreported. In fact, according to Forbes, “In 2021, the average number of cyberattacks and data breaches increased by 15.1%3 from the previous year.”
Even more alarming, “Ransomware attacks alone now occur every 114 seconds,” according to Cybersecurity Ventures.
Certainly, businesses need to do more to protect themselves, and many know it already. In fact, 45%5 of executives feel their processes are ineffective at preventing attacks and 66%5 have already experienced one in the past 12 months.
Let’s look at some of the most common causes of cyber breaches. They include:
- Weak credentials – “The vast majority of data breaches are caused by stolen or weak credentials. If malicious criminals have your username and password combination, they have an open door into your network6.”
- Cyber attacks – phishing (a fraudster poses as a reputable person via email, e.g.), brute force attacks (a trial-and-error approach used by automation programs to decode login credentials), and malware (a program or file that is intentionally harmful to a network).
- Rogue employees – an unauthorized user within the organization steals customer data and sells it for their own financial gain.
- Remote workers – 78%7 of security and IT leaders in 2022 say remote workers are harder to secure. These offsite employees can leave the company’s network open to threats.
- Low detection rates – less than .05%8 of breaches are ever detected, according to World Economic Forum.
There are security measures and resources you can put in place (either on your own or by hiring a cyber security service provider) to protect your organization from these threats.
Unless you have a robust security team in house, an outside security firm likely has access to more advanced detection and mitigation tools and has the time to dedicate 24x7x365 monitoring and protection.
Here are several proactive security measures a services provider can employ on your behalf to protect your organization and its data:
- Automatically identify control risks and uncover root causes before they become problematic.
- Run deep penetration testing, active device scanning and threat modeling.
- Continually monitor the latest threat feeds and intelligence reports in real time.
- Use real time security information and event management software (SIEM) to ingest system events from your desktops, servers, network, and mobile devices to identify threats and perform end user behavioral analyses.
- Conduct frequent forensic security reviews to identify previously undetected anomalies.
- Monitor your security posture every second of every day.
- Identify policy-violating configurations, malware, viruses, and other harmful threats hidden across your organization.
As the ubiquity and frequency of cyber breaches continue to rise, so does the risk to your organization. Don’t leave your organization vulnerable to such attacks. Consider hiring a cyber security firm.
Contact us today for more information.
1“How much does a data breach cost in 2022?”, IBM. 2“The Most Recent Data Breaches – August 2022”, Firewall Times, August 19, 2022. 3“Alarming Cyber Statistics For Mid-Year 2022 That You Need To Know”, Forbes, June 3, 2022. 4“The Law and Politics of Ransomware,” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 55, 2022. 5“Cybersecurity in the Remote Work Era: A Global Risk Report”, Keeper and Ponemon Institute, 2020. 6“How Data Breaches Happen”, Kapersky. 7“The State of Security 2022”, Splunk. 8The Global Risks Report 2020”, World Economic Forum, 2020.