Beware the Data Breach

By: Eide Bailly Technology Consulting

It should come as no surprise that data breaches are becoming more and more popular in today’s day and age. Although many businesses believe this could never happen to them, the harsh reality is that it could happen to anyone. This leads us to our point: just how detrimental could a data breach be to your business’s bottom line?

Let’s first look at exactly what a data breach is. In its most simple sense, a data breach is when an individual’s name and other confidential, personal information is potentially put at risk. These breaches usually occur due to a criminal attack, a glitch in technology or even just a human error.

When looking at the expenses a business could incur due to a data breach, there are some scary numbers reported. The attacks themselves are unique and so are the expenses an organization may face. The Ponemon Institute 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study revealed that the average cost for each lost or stolen record containing confidential or sensitive information increased from $217 in 2015 to $221 by 2016 – per record! This was a 2% rise, showing an upward trend in the cost of stolen information. This is mainly due to the loss of more customers than was originally expected. Verizon, in their 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, found that an organization may spend between $52,000 and $87,000 on 1,000 stolen records. Yikes!

It’s obvious a data breach is something no business wants to deal with. Not only will a breach cost your business money, but it could also cost you your reputation. That can lead to many financial problems down the road (think loss of customers, loss of revenue, etc.).

To make sure your business is taking the proper steps to reduce your risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches, consider some of these questions:

  • What data protection policies and procedures do you currently have in place?
  • Are there any industry regulations you need to follow?
  • When was the last time you tested your data security measures?
  • Do you have your data backed up, and if so, how secure is it?
  • Is your data protected from human errors or system malfunctions?
  • When did your management team last review your security measures in depth?
  • Have other businesses similar to yours experienced data breaches?

These questions, although just a starting point, can be extremely helpful in determining whether your business is at a high risk of a data breach. If you feel your answers to some of these questions aren’t as great as you were hoping, it’s time to start working on your business’s overall security plans.

Shameless Plug (because you knew that was coming): Eide Bailly’s Cyber Security Compass can help your business stay safe from cyber- attacks. By analyzing your business’s strengths and weaknesses, a report is given to help you determine what areas of your business need help. Trust us, this tool is pretty neat.

You don’t want your business to be another statistic impacted by a data breach. Protect your business’s bottom-line by making data security and protection a key goal in your business strategy.

A version of this post first appeared on Eide Bailly’s Technology Consulting blog.

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