Data breaches are one of the most dangerous security incidents a company can experience, leaving affected organizations with negative repercussions that last well beyond the remediation period. With data breaches on the rise, it’s vital to ensure your enterprise’s network is fortified to protect against these catastrophic attacks.
By better understanding the effects of a data breach (and the steps you can take to prevent one), you can better protect your business from an attack. Below, we'll discuss the cost of data breaches and share preventative tips to help fortify your organization.
The True Cost of Data Breaches
Data breaches can be highly detrimental to businesses, causing once-thriving organizations to pay, on average, $4.45 million dollars. While financial ruin is one major concern, the adverse effects of data breaches extend beyond money, and can be felt across your entire business, resulting in significant losses, such as:
Loss of Data Security. 234 million people thus far in 2023 have had data compromised during a breach. Compromised data can lead to lawsuits against your company and more legal issues if you fail to comply with modern cyber security standards and regulations.
Inability To Grow. During the mitigation period, your resources and employees will be focused on repairing the damage brought on by the data breach. This means that your growth strategy will most likely be put on hold until all issues are resolved.
Loss of Client and Employee Trust. While it’s impossible to stop every cyber attack, how you handle them is highly important. Poorly handling a data breach can tank your reputation and result in client churn due to a lack of trust, causing irreparable damage.
5 Ways You Can Help Prevent Data Breaches
Investing in proven preventative measures should be a top priority to ensure your business is not one of the thousands of data breaches that occur every year.
Implementing the following recommendations can help ensure your company stays secure.
1. Install the Latest Technology and Security Updates
Hackers are savvy enough to look for and exploit outdated tech and unpatched applications for ways into your network. This is because older technology and missing updates often result in loopholes and unprotected entry points that would otherwise help defend against cyber attacks.
What you can do: Ensure your organization is utilizing newer tech and regularly updating systems to eliminate potential security gaps in your network. Invest in quarterly vulnerability assessments to determine potential weaknesses.
2. Educate Your Team About the Latest Cyber Security Practices
There have been several hacking instances in recent history that were successful due to a lack of organizational training in the latest best practices for cyber security.
Employees are often considered your security network’s weakest defense, making them easy targets for threat actors. In fact, social engineering specifically targets employees because many organizations don’t offer or require proper cybersecurity education for their employees. For example, a threat actor could trick an untrained employee into giving them access to your systems.
What you can do: Ensure your team is taught the latest best practices and is educated thoroughly through a reliable cyber security knowledge source.
3. Change Your Organization’s Login Credentials Often
What you can do: Ensure you update login credentials often across your entire company and do not reuse old passwords, especially if they were compromised in a previous data breach. This, when paired with social engineering tactics, was the basis for the MGM Resorts hack that led to contact and payment information for several customers becoming compromised. Additionally, incorporate multi-factor authentication to further protect your business.
4. Utilize Data Backups
What happens if a data breach occurs and you’re forced to shut down your operations? Since the average cost of downtime is $5,600 per minute, you could be losing devastating amounts of money while you scramble to resume operations.
What you can do: Utilizing data backups can help ensure your data is in a safe, alternate location. So, while a cyber attack might reach your business data, having the data backed up somewhere else can help prevent hackers from holding the compromised data for ransom, reducing data breach costs.
5. Work With an Elite Cyber Security Team
Handling every aspect of your cyber security might not be cost-effective or the best use of your time when you have a business to run. However, that doesn’t mean it should take a back seat. Your security framework requires diligent and consistent upkeep, which can be difficult for enterprises to manage on their own. This can result in security gaps, leaving your systems vulnerable to threats.
What you can do: Work with a team of professional, reliable, and credible cyber security experts to help you identify even the most hidden security vulnerabilities within your organization. While you focus on your operations, the professionals can work behind the scenes to ensure your enterprise is fortified against threat actors.
Take the Right Steps To Avoid the Cost of a Data Breach
While investing in cyber security services can seem like an unnecessary expense, it can save your team from excruciating consequences. A professional and reliable cyber security team that offers cutting-edge penetration testing can not only save you money in the long term but also help shore up your entire network against other cyber threats in one fell swoop.
That’s where we can help. Our team of elite cyber security consultants, The Global Ghost Team™, helps companies just like yours test and strengthen their networks against the most advanced cyber threats used by hackers.
Ready to learn more about how Mitnick Security can strengthen your security posture? Explore our pentesting services today.