Cost of a Single Data Breach Could Be a Killer

Image via Shutterstock.com

Image via Shutterstock.com

The cost of doing business just went up. While big businesses are under new pressure to shore up weak security protocols, small and medium-sized companies are learning that ignoring the signs of risk can be a costly affair. In fact, recent data on the cost of data breaches demonstrates that when an event happens, it can be crippling.

Hackers aren’t the only game in town
Data breaches aren’t only caused by hackers. In fact, a recent study from the Ponemon Institute notes that human error caused 31% of all US-based data breaches in the past year. That means transmitting files to the wrong party, losing company equipment, or storing data in an insecure environment. Those same data breaches were reported to cost companies $115 per record.

Certain industries have greater financial exposure
Data breaches can be more common, and more costly, depending on the industry. Healthcare, education, and financial services suffer from the largest burden, indexing unusually high for cost exposure compared to other industries. While retail has been covered most in the news, their cost per record is relatively low.

Industry specifics aside, the idea of any industry or company size being immune to data breaches has now been proven false. According to Ponemon, nearly 9 out of 10 companies will face some form of data breach in the coming year.

Big risk can be taken off the table
A medium-sized company with 100,000 records has a total data breach exposure of $11,500,000 based on human error alone. That’s a tremendous, but somewhat preventable risk to be carrying.

When human error occurs it is often the result of lax security protocols. Files are not assigned to specific users or are dispensed to stakeholders with no restrictions. Employees are utilizing rogue, cloud-based storage and collaboration services with no controls simply because it is easier for them to do their jobs. Audit trails for document changes and updates are not automatically maintained, resulting in versioning and confidentiality issues.

Human error is one of the most efficient data breach risks to manage. By utilizing cost-effective file collaboration and sharing tools to manage workflows and permissions, companies can cut human error while allowing employees to continue business as usual.

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