Data breaches are on the rise, and 2016 was a record-breaking year for such attacks. So far, 2017’s data breach report indicates that it might be even worse in terms of significant data breaches and associated losses.
We’ll review a few hard numbers below along with major threats, practical defense steps, and the average cost of a data breach.
As of the writing of this data breach report, there have already been 927 data breaches in 2017. Attacks varied considerably, and in addition to the usual merchant and medical data breaches, there have been several government-related losses. Some have had dramatic consequences, most particularly the recent data breach report from Sweden’s government.
Data Breach Investigation Report
A number of new trends are on the rise, and quite a few familiar problems remain unsolved. One of the biggest repeating issues is the number of secure files and data sets let on unsecured cloud servers. Although the cloud has brought the IT world a host of fresh advantages, the opportunity for negligence has risen substantially. Fresh training procedures may be needed to combat this issue along with practical measures to make prevent employees from storing data in unsecured locations.
Another rising trend is ransomware. Again, it isn’t a new problem, but as Macs become more susceptible to online attacks, criminals are motivated to increase targeted malware. Ransomware appears to be leading the field.
Fresh phishing schemes represent a significant number of this year’s data breaches as well. The technique is a basic con that predates computers, but attackers put a new spin on the same old tricks every day. Successful phishing attacks will remain a problem in the foreseeable future, and the only real way to combat them is to provide additional training to employees.
Global Average Cost of a Data Breach
According to Business Insider’s data breach investigations report, the global average cost of a data breach is around seven million dollars. Although remediation still plays a large part in these costs, government fees for negligence are on the rise, as is stricter legislation governing the use and storage of private data. Added to those expenses are the additional costs of disruption and lost customers. This price is expected to rise, especially, as we mentioned, since governments around the world are introducing tougher guidelines and enforcement policies on businesses. Since most businesses operate, to some degree, as part of the international marketplace, it may be possible for businesses to receive penalties from multiple governing bodies.
2017’s data breach report demonstrates the need for better training and supervision in all aspects of data security. Although the costs may make businesses hesitate, training is much cheaper than a data breach. The chances of a data breach are on the rise, accidental and otherwise. To ensure next year’s report is more favorable, businesses must take immediate action. Responding to today’s trending issues will lower tomorrow’s risks.