3 Proven Ways to Avoid Data Breach Costs
You’ve undoubtedly found yourself in a fire drill when working in a tall office building in Docklands or along Lonsdale Street.
You understand how it feels when you hear the first beep, beep, followed by the whoop, whoop. So you know, by working on the 19th floor… it will be a long way down the emergency stairs to the marshalling point.
But here’s the thing, practising an evacuation saves lives, and all employees should participate, so they know how to respond.
Similarly, practising an incident response plan for data breaches can drastically reduce business impact.
Of course, no business wants to experience a data breach. But unfortunately, in today’s complex operating environment, it can be challenging to avoid data breaches. 83% of companies globally have experienced more than one data breach, according to a recent IBM study (Security 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report).
When a breach occurs in your business, you have an immediate impact. There are both financial, legal and reputational repercussions. And you lose productivity due to your teams needing to remediate the breach.
Unsurprisingly, the IBM security report found that the cost of data breaches climbed significantly again during 2022. The global cost of one breach is now $4.35 million, up 2.6% from last year. Worryingly, US-based businesses’ costs rose to $9.44 million compared to Canada, where the average data breach costs companies $5.64 million.
For small and medium businesses, costs generally are lower. But the impact of the breach is often more devastating. Mainly due to having limited resources to remediate the breach and associated costs. Reports suggest that an estimated 60% of small businesses collapse within six months of a cybersecurity breach.
Here’s the thing, you don’t need to accept that your business will fall victim to a data breach. Instead, you can implement proven tactics to limit the damage of a cyberattack. I’ve read the IBM security report, and here are actions you should implement to increase your business’s cybersecurity today.
Here’s how to reduce the costly impacts of data breaches
Introduce a hybrid cloud solution
I’m sure you’re like most companies and use the cloud for data storage. But unfortunately, researchers have identified that a staggering 45% of all data breaches originate in the cloud.
And whilst that is deeply concerning, you need to know that not all cloud strategies are equal. You see, there are differences between a hybrid and a public cloud. A hybrid cloud uses public and private cloud environments to store data and processes.
So, when you use a hybrid cloud strategy, you have a high level of security that enables you to reduce the potential data breach cost.
Implement an incident response plan and practice
You should create an incident response (IR) plan regardless of your business size. The IR plan is simply a set of instructions for employees to follow should any cybersecurity incidents happen. For example, when a ransomware attack occurs, employees should first disconnect the infected device from the network. With an IR plan, you can improve the speed and effectiveness of your response when faced with a cybersecurity threat.
It’s critical for your IR plan to be successfully implemented so that your teams practice the response. Studies have shown that businesses that rehearse their response, lower the cost of a data breach by an average of $2.66 million per incident.
Chose a zero-trust security approach
You can improve your network’s security by using a zero-trust approach. For example, you can introduce these security protocols to guard against an attack:
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Application safelisting
- Contextual user authentication
And the truth is that around 79% of critical infrastructure companies still need to adopt zero-trust strategies. It’s been found that businesses that don’t operate with a zero-trust approach incur about $1 million more per data breach than those that have adopted it.
Reduce costs with security AI and automation.
Choosing and implementing the most appropriate security tools in your business can significantly impact your costs during a data breach. The report found that data breach costs can be reduced by 65.2% by harnessing the power of security AI and automation.
For example, security solutions include advanced threat protection (ATP) tools. Or applications that hunt out security threats and automate your business’s response.
Getting started with improving your cybersecurity resilience
As I’ve shared, many of these strategies to lower data breach costs are best practices. You can start with any of them individually to implement and roll out upgrades to your cybersecurity strategy.
You can work with a trusted IT provider and plan a roadmap together. The plan could focus first on quick wins before identifying long-term projects to address. One example you could introduce immediately would be multi-factor authentication (MFA), as it’s low-cost and straightforward to implement. And best of all, it significantly reduces the risk of a cloud breach.
A longer-term project might create an incident response (IR) plan. As I mentioned, this would include a schedule to have your team drill on the plan regularly and identify any issues to correct.
Are you a Melbourne business that needs help with cybersecurity?
You don’t need to work out these tactics alone; we can help you. So, schedule a chat with us today to help plan your cybersecurity roadmap.
About the author
Yener is the founder and Managing Director of Intuitive IT. Prior to running his own business Yener worked for a number of corporate organisations where he gained invaluable experience and skills, as well as an understanding of how IT can complement and improve business outcomes.