Data breaches reached record numbers in 2014. While some records are good to break, this is certainly not one of them. More and more transactions are being done electronically and more and more data is being stored, giving hackers more and more information to go after. Data breaches are almost inevitable at this point. There are things you can do to limit the damage caused by a data breach, though preventing them completely might be impossible.
Monitoring traffic into and out of sensitive areas is the key to detecting data breaches before they become major headaches. The average data breach lasts 205 days before it is ever detected, and 67% of data breaches are detected from outside the company or organization. The average cost of a data breach is $5.5 million, and that’s not even counting the damage to a company’s reputation.
Small businesses can’t afford that type of calamity. On a smaller scale it would likely cost less to clean up a data breach, but the damage in terms of reputation can leave lasting effects. That’s why it is so important to work with companies you can trust and to monitor your information as closely as possible.
There are multiple points of entry for a data breach. Over half of data breaches happen when hackers use malware to gain access to your system, but there are several other methods. Over a quarter of data breaches stem from lost or stolen smartphones or tablets, and 17% stem from many different types of errors. Once a hacker has access to your system, they can slowly exfiltrate data over time until they are caught and stopped. Once they have your data, they can either try to blackmail you by selling it back to you, or they can sell it on the black market to gain a profit.
Over and above the cost of cleaning up a data breach, the cost to your company’s reputation, and notifying your customers of your error, your company could also face class action lawsuits. Home Depot alone is facing 44 separate class action lawsuits stemming from its recent data breach.
Identifying your high risk areas can help you monitor any unusual behavior that might be going on, thus helping you to stop a data breach in its tracks. For a small business, limiting the damage from a data breach is crucial to staying in business. Learn more about the recent history of data breaches as well as what can be done to prevent them from this infographic.
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