Regardless of the type of company you’re running or even the industry you’re operating in, one thing needs to become astoundingly clear as soon as possible: cyber security is by far the biggest risk to your organization. Not only that, but it’s only going to become more of a pressing issue as time goes on.
According to a study conducted by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by IBM Security, the average cost of a single data breach hit $3.62 million in 2017. This number breaks down to roughly $225 per individual compromised record in the United States alone.
In November 2018 it was announced that the Marriott data breach hit 500 million Starwood hotel guests.Here’s how it ranks among the largest corporate data fails.
Here’s an infographic that shows the Cost of Cyberattacks in 2018:
The number of attacks that we collectively face is also on the rise. There’s a reason why the unemployment rate for cyber-security professionals is literally at 0% right now. In fact, it is predicted that, by as soon as 2019, a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds.
This is the type of situation that we now face, and it’s one that does not discriminate. Hackers and other people with malicious intentions are targeting every type of business in every country, no exceptions. You cannot be “too small” or “too insignificant” to avoid becoming a target.
But understanding that cyber security is important is one thing. Doing something about it is another matter entirely. To truly protect your organization from the coming onslaught of digital threats, here are a few key things to keep in mind.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
By far, the best way to make sure that your business does not become the victim of a devastating cyber-attack involves taking a proactive approach to security as much as possible. It’s not enough to wait for an attack to happen and then respond accordingly. At that point, the damage has already been done.
Remember that 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyber-attack will close within one year.
Instead, you need to be investing in proactive measures like regular and thorough network health checks. Your cyber security teams and the technology they rely on should be geared to look for suspicious activity today so they can prevent a small problem from turning into a much bigger (and more expensive) one tomorrow.
Likewise, you need to be investing in employee education about the types of attacks they’ll now have to concern themselves with on a daily basis. Remember that 91% of cyber-attacks (and the data breaches that happen quickly thereafter) occur because someone fell victim to a simple spear-phishing email.
Simply training people to watch out for these types of attacks and making sure these skills are refreshed thoroughly and often will go a long way toward mitigating the potential risk that certainly isn’t going away anytime soon.
In the End
The global state of cyber security is only going to get worse before it gets better. Remember that becoming a target of a cyber-attack is no longer a question of “if” but “when” — so the best thing you can do is not try to avoid becoming a target, but mitigate the risk associated with becoming a victim.
Only by investing heavily in proactive cyber security measures, along with regular and ongoing employee training, will you help make sure that you don’t find yourself in this type of situation anytime soon.
Blog Last Updated on November 30, 2018