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Large or Small, Data Breaches Can Wreck Your Business

Large or Small, Data Breaches Can Wreck Your Business

It’s no secret that a data breach can have serious repercussions for any business, especially after recent events. From the funds stolen to the efforts it takes to regain client trust, recovering from such an attack is no easy feat--and they’re only poised to get worse.It’s no secret that a data breach can have serious consequences for any business, especially after some of the events that occurred throughout 2017. From the costs to repair any internal damage done to the efforts it takes to regain client trust, recovering from such an attack is no easy feat--and they’re only poised to get worse.

The breaches that were seen throughout 2017 and 2018 had a lower average cost than other years, dropping by 10%. However, this still makes the average cost of a breach a considerable $3.62 million, and the type of organizations breached are equally concerning. Furthermore, while there was a decrease in the average cost of a data breach, there was an increasing level of total data lost.  This all points an expansion to smaller and more numerous targets.

Looking back at some of these data breaches, there’s little wonder that so much data was lost.

The Equifax breach provides a stunning example of a data breach, and also a case study in how a breach shouldn’t be handled. Not only were 143 million customers made vulnerable between May-July of 2017, the credit monitoring company waited for months to notify anyone a breach had occurred. As a result, over a third of the American population was put at risk by having their social security numbers and birth dates stolen, without any knowledge of it. The CEO of Equifax put out an apology video widely seen as insincere, before losing his job.

In March, a database belonging to business analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet was exposed, allowing 33.7 million contact information records to be accessed. The database included contact information from a variety of recognizable organizations, including Walmart, AT&T, and disconcertingly, 100,000 employee records from the Department of Defense. This information included the names and job titles of these employees.

Verizon found itself in hot water in July when 14 million of their customers had data left exposed unsecured on a public website . While there was no indication that this database was ever accessed maliciously, the fact that it could be accessed simply by typing in the right website address is an unfortunate reminder that many businesses need to take their data security more seriously than they are.

This applies to more than just large well-known businesses. Reports indicate not only do over 70% of attacks target small businesses, but over half of all small businesses have been a target of a cyberattack. Even worse for the typical small business, the estimated cost per breach can reach over half a million dollars, out-of-pocket, once all fees and fines are accounted for.

That estimate doesn’t consider the loss of business likely to occur after a data breach. So, not only does a data breach cost you financially, there’s a lower chance of ever bouncing back afterwards.

Clearly, a data breach isn’t something that a small or medium sized business can afford. If we’re not already, Agilitec IT offers solutions to help protect your data from such breaches. Reach out to us at (702) 720-1700 for more information.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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