Data breaches can happen anytime. They’ve become unfortunately common occurrences in the modern world. It takes months or sometimes years to uncover a data breach, and then reporting it is another complication. Often, you will have to make a public statement, and there will be additional legal requirements. At the very least, a data breach is a PR disaster.
However, the most significant consequence of a data breach would be the expenses. Once hacked, a company has to spend escalating costs for as long as the data breach goes on. In just the first half of 2019, around 4.1 billion records were reported to be exposed by over 3,500 data breaches.
Can It Happen To Me?
A data breach is a security incident where sensitive information or data is accessed and extracted without authorization by cybercriminals. This attack can be made either remotely sidestepping the network security or by physically accessing the computer or network.
The type of data stolen, and the companies attacked mainly depends on the motive of the cybercriminal. Typically, hackers purloin data to make money by:
- Duplicating credit cards
- Blackmailing using personal information
- Selling bulk data to marketplaces on the web
Cybercriminals steal bulk data. So, end-users are never really a target of hackers unless the person is closely connected to the industry. Nevertheless, end-users do get affected when their personal information is part of the data stolen from big organizations. Follow the below-given practices during such instances:
- Inform your bank and change your passwords.
- Avoid downloading files from unknown sources and clicking on suspicious links.
- Cross-check email addresses of incoming emails. Cybercriminals often pose as bank representatives asking for credentials.
- Reach out to the breached organization and ask if they can get you enrolled for a fraud victim assistance program.
What Are The Costs?
According to The International Data Corporation (IDC), a quarter of the world’s population will be affected by data breaches by 2020.
Organizations suffering data breaches have to face an extensive array of risks from managing the expensive aftermath to dealing with the reputation damage. Customers are most careful about their privacy and don’t want their information leaked, especially payment information. After a breach, potential customers will be hesitant about trusting your organization. Additionally, a data breach impacts an organization’s business operations, which also results in loss of customers, which can again lead to revenue loss.
The average cost of a data breach in 2018 was $8.9 million per company in the United States.
What Should I Do?
Once you learn about your organization experiencing a data breach, take the following steps as advised by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Prevent multiple breaches by securing your system and fixing all vulnerabilities.
- Secure physical areas by changing access codes.
- Talk with people who discovered the breach and document your investigation.
- Don’t destroy the evidence as it may help with remediation.
- Determine the legal requirements by going through specific requirements mentioned in the state and federal laws.
- Inform law enforcement at the earliest.
- Notify all the affected businesses and individuals.
Nevertheless, as the adage goes, ‘prevention is always better than cure.’ The same goes for data breaches as well. Threat hunting is a prevention mechanism brought about by Carbon Black threat hunting software. It detects and block attacks and actively and finds gaps in your environment and reduce the cost of a data breach.
Notable Data Breaches
According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), the most number of data breaches happen in the banking industry, followed by the healthcare and public sector. Nonetheless, data breaches can happen to organizations in any industry.
During the instance of a data breach, every minute counts. There is no time for would of, should of, and could of. You should be quick enough to find the vulnerability and initiate the remedies. Also, take as many precaution measures possible to stop the breach before cybercriminals strike.