If there was a security lesson to be learned last year, it was that we entered the era of data breaches. According to digital security company Gemalto’s Breach Level Index, more data records were leaked during the first half of 2017 alone than during all of 2016.
Companies and institutions, including InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), Arby’s, Verifone, Chipotle, University of Oklahoma, Verizon, Equifax, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Whole Foods Market and Uber have all acknowledged their data were compromised, but they were by far not the only targets of cybercriminals.
The ITRC Data Breach Report 2017 identified more than 1,300 data breaches last year, with companies representing half of this number. Clearly, high-profile data breaches are just the tip of an enormous, growing iceberg. Cybercriminals have long realized targeting a larger number of smaller organizations is just as lucrative as making one huge hit.
That is bad news for small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), which often rely on the same information technology infrastructure as some of the largest enterprises in the world but without their vast resources and expertly trained in-house staff. To put the danger represented by data breaches into perspective, IBM Security and Ponemon Institute estimate, in their Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Overview, the average total cost of a data breach is $3.62 million, with the average cost per lost or stolen record being $141.
Of course, data breaches do not cost companies just money but also customer loyalty. A Gemalto study of more than 10,000 consumers worldwide found that 70 percent of consumers would stop doing business with a company if it experienced a data breach. Again, it is SMBs that take the greatest hit as their customers are seldom as reliant on them as the customers of large companies such as Equifax.
“Consumers are evidently happy to relinquish the responsibility of protecting their data to a business, but are expecting it to be kept secure without any effort on their part,” says Jason Hart, Chief Technology Officer, Identity and Data Protection at Gemalto.
“In the face of upcoming data regulations such as GDPR, it’s now up to businesses to ensure they are forcing security protocols on their customers to keep data secure. It’s no longer enough to offer these solutions as an option. These protocols must be mandatory from the start—otherwise businesses will face not only financial consequences,but also potentially legal action from consumers.”
Fortunately, even SMBs can safeguard themselves against vulnerabilities with Vology’s comprehensive Managed Security Services and a U.S.-based 24/7/365 Security Operations Center (SOC) designed to protect against every aspect of security and compliance threats.
Vology provides the latest security tools and techniques, proactive monitoring and alerting of security events, giving you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your organization’s critical network infrastructure is managed by skilled cybersecurity personnel who always keep your best interest in mind. To learn more about Vology’s offering, visit vology.com or call 888-808-2199.