Data Breach Preparedness: The Next Risk Management Priority

There is already plenty to worry about in 2020, but could your organization handle a data breach? In 2019, there were 1,473 data breaches with more than 164.68 million sensitive records exposed, and there have been 540 reported breaches in the first half of 2020. Especially with the increase in remote working, it’s time to make sure your organization is prepared.

Data Breaches Increase

The seventh annual Data Breach Preparedness study sponsored by Experian Data Breach Resolution and conducted by Ponemon Institute has discovered that there have been significantly more data breaches since 2018. 63% of respondents said their organization experienced a breach of over 1,000 records within the last two years.

Almost 75% of IT administrators are now regularly assessing and reviewing the strength of their security measures. Interestingly only 44% of organizations felt they were prepared to respond to a data breach.

Spear-phishing (a targeted attempt to steal sensitive information posing as a trusted source) is still one of the most prominent forms of attack, and it seems companies are still not ready to prevent or defend against them. A staggering 60% of respondents said their organization had experienced one or more of these attacks in the last year.

Of those respondents who experienced an attack, 67% ranked the negative impact of those attacks somewhere between “significant” and “very significant.” It is clear spear-phishing attacks are only increasing, but just 50% of respondents said their organizations have trained employees on how to recognize and handle the attacks.

The report did expose the lack of C-Suite executive involvement in security reviews of their organizations. 85% of IT professionals reported that their C-Suite management needed to be more engaged in security assessments and data protection measures.

How to Prepare

When it comes to data breaches, preparation is key because sensitive information can end up in the wrong hands, and the cost of a breach can reach the millions. From your security network to your employees, it is important to have a plan for every aspect of your company to prevent data breaches. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Determine where your current vulnerabilities are – understanding the current weaknesses in your network will allow you to implement policies and programs that can patch those holes.
  • Educate employees – employees often cause data breaches either because of opening spear-phishing emails or mixing their work and personal accounts, so educating them about how to encrypt data and avoid malware will help prevent problems.
  • Restrict data permissions – give your employees access to only the information necessary for their jobs to help prevent vital information from being accidentally shared in the first place.
  • Bring in a specialist – a professional team experienced with IT-related threats can help your company develop a solution that will withstand threats from malicious attackers.

ATSG Can Help

Data breaches, viruses, spyware, malware, and ransomware can all lead to catastrophic business disruption, loss of customer trust, and considerable financial repercussions. ATSG has the expertise, processes, and technology to help you eliminate vulnerabilities, stop attacks in their tracks, and quickly get you on the path to recovery should your business be impacted.

ATSG offers consulting and managed security services, which include:

The methods and technologies used in these data breaches continue to get more sophisticated. At ATSG, we stay on top of the trends to keep our clients protected. By utilizing these services, you can be assured that your company’s security is as prepared as it can be against cyber threats.

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