Small Leaks, Big Costs
If your house is broken into and the perpetrator only takes a pack of gum, how do you feel? Slightly relieved, of course, but you still feel violated and intruded upon and concerned that, next time, they could take more. This is the same case with cyber security—small-scale probing attacks can lead to larger scale leaks once the digital locks are unpicked and you fail to do anything about it.
Even the smallest leak can put customers and clients on edge. They may not feel as at ease with sharing personal information or other details with you or your business following a breach, even if that breach was relatively minor. Building this trust for a second time is far more difficult than it was the first time around. It is much easier to work to prevent such breaches in the first place. Another possible negative result: clients leaving your business because of digital trust issues, resulting to losses in potential earnings.
It may be an old saying but it still holds true today: It is better to be proactive than to be reactive. It is far more cost-effective for an organisation to invest in robust security ahead of time than to go back, assess the damage, and restructure poor security following a breach. We all know this, and yet many of us remain complacent. In Australia for example, in 2015 or one year after the threat from the Heartbleed bug became public knowledge, an astonishing 84% of businesses were still vulnerable to the said security vulnerability. Now that’s a cause for concern!
Smaller Is Getting Bigger
Our definition of a “small” leak is changing, and not in a good way. Between 2011 and 2013, the average cost of a compromised record rose from AUD$138 to AUD$141, while the average total organisational cost for a company whose security is breached rose from AUD$2,160,000 to AUD$2,720,000, a trend which continues to unfold.
But all is certainly not lost. Companies seeking to secure their data and their systems still have all to play for and can maintain the upper hand by taking a few, carefully considered steps regarding their digital defences.
If your organisation allows the use of personal devices, make sure each and every device is secured. Your proactive measures should also extend to employees leaving the company as they and the devices they used can be a form of a security threat as well. Revoking company account access and changing company account passwords are just two of the security measures you can take. If your organisation has antivirus and anti-malware systems in place—which it really, really should!—make sure that these systems are assessed and updated on a regular basis. These are examples of best practices you could follow to prevent small but costly data breaches.
Implement Rigorous Testing and Appraisal Structures
Make your testing and appraisal procedures a systematic part of your business. Start by creating a schedule for checking and updating and make sure that this schedule is adhered to, ensuring 24/7 protection. This helps ensure that your company’s data security programs, protocols, and processes are not only up-to-date but also working properly.
A Breach Is a Breach
We’ve seen how even miniscule, seemingly insignificant data breaches and leaks can spell major trouble and expenses. Get used to treating security breaches of all shapes and sizes as what they are: security breaches that have the potential to cost your business lots of money. This is also where employee education comes in. Through constant communication and initiatives such as seminars or department meetings, not only will you be able to educate your staff on how to effectively use and maximise your company’s data security resources, you’ll also convince them not to take any security breach lightly, which brings us to our next item…
End Culture of Complacency
Complacency is arguably the biggest danger facing modern business when it comes to security threats. Fortunately, it is also easy to stamp out. Regular briefings, highlighting not only the threat of data leaks and breaches but also the techniques to use when combating them, put everyone on the same page when it comes to having the same approach towards data security. This ensures that everyone understands their responsibilities towards security and recognises the warning signs they should look out for.
Utilise Integrated Security Solutions
Your security solutions must fit your company’s internal structure. This means that they should integrate seamlessly into your other existing systems, providing a high level of security without hindering business performance. This makes sure that your security programs are working at full strength and that you avoid having to deal with software-related issues such as system incompatibilities that are not only annoying but time-consuming as well.
Services and products such as those offered by FinalCode provide the needed security solutions that enable businesses to share and distribute files—even sensitive ones—easily and safely. This in turn enhances your business’ overall security, helping you stay protected from data breaches, no matter how big or small they may be.