It is commonly accepted that Data is the lifeblood of every business. Unless of course, your company still does bookkeeping with pen and paper? If not, the chances are that the day-to-day operations of your business cannot function without Data.
Data lasts forever and is being used in ways we can’t even imagine - almost every device is a computer producing data these days. And with disappearance of traditional perimeters like firewalls, Data flows anywhere and everywhere leading more and more companies to begin and adopt a ‘data-centric’ approach.
So you know your data is valuable, you know it’s used by others for their own purposes, and you know you have more data than ever before. That means preventing data loss should be a priority.
Did you know, 42% of SMEs experience at least one cyber attack every 12 months and 1 in 5 data breaches are caused by internal error?
The unfortunate reality is, data loss events are very much a common occurrence and recovery options are not always available. Without the right data security measures, your data can be stolen or deleted in a blink of an eye.
Data loss - How bad could it be?
At this point, you’re probably accepting of the fact that data loss happens, but you’re likely to be asking yourself - just how bad can it be? Well, Data loss events are so devastating that they usually knock companies back by several years. The costs involve a financial outlay for the actual recovery, but there’s also a domino effect on the company’s reputation, and a significant amount of time is spent by in-house teams to rebuild and win back your customers' trust.
The Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020 declared the average cost of a data breach at staggering $3.86 million, and the healthcare industry was cited as the most costly industry at $7.13 million.
At these numbers, it’s obvious that a data loss event can even knock giant corporations to their knees - and it happens all too often.
In 2020, Honda suffered a ransomware attack that led to suspension of global operations in North America, Turkey, Italy, and Japan. Honda employees were allegedly locked out of IT systems, essentially losing access to essential systems and data required for daily operations. While this was a devastating blow to Honda, the company was fortunate to have a support system of over 400 affiliates worldwide and reserves necessary to help them rebuild.
Startups and SMEs, however, do not have these cushions - financial reserves, long term investors, stakeholders, and business partners that the larger companies enjoy. The result is that the impact of data loss is felt much more acutely by smaller organisations, and can even force them out of business.
Money aside, time and manpower also has to be invested in order for companies to retrieve lost data. The Ponemon report also showed it takes an average 280 days to identify and contain a data breach. Considering that the average year has 261 working days, data loss has the potential to put companies into commission for more than a year!
The task of identifying the source of the leak is the most time consuming part, taking companies an average of 207 days to identify how their databases have been infiltrated. It then takes a further 73 days for IT professionals to isolate the point of breach and close the security gap.
Then why don’t more companies invest in data security?
More often than not, the upfront costs of data security systems prevent small companies from investing. In fact, Untangle found that 32% of SMEs identify the budget as their greatest barrier. The result is that SMEs end up playing in defensive mode - something that we think is easily avoided. Download our cybersecurity for SME's whitepaper to learn more
What’s concerning is that, according to the survey by Untangle, 45% of survey participants indicated that they only beefed up their IT security after a security breach or ransomware attack. This may be understandable, as SMEs and startups face pressure to live up to expectations of their investors. However, by prioritising profits, loopholes are created and startups are left vulnerable to having their data removed either by accident, sold off by an insider, or stolen completely.
The problem is, if a data loss event happens, data recovery isn’t easy. Much of the advice about protecting against ransomware and malware starts with ensuring there’s a frequent backup. Often, however, organisations rely on data replication to the cloud - OneDrive, G-Drive, etc. This is very convenient, but if an attack involves data theft followed by ransomware, then all your data is made inaccessible to you - both locally and on the cloud drive.
Backup is undoubtedly important - just make sure that your backups are not liable to damage by any ransomware or malware. But even with an effective and safe back, you still don’t solve the problem of data theft.
Don’t wait until it’s too late – Safeguard your data with the SecureAge Security Suite
Every year on March 31, companies are reminded to back up their data on World Backup Day lest they look like fools on April 1st. While this is a great initiative, you don’t have to wait until March 31 to safeguard your company’s future.
Our breakthrough encryption technology has a record of keeping organisations and government agencies safe for over 18 years, keeping data protected and useless to cyber-criminals. It operates silently in the background and protects data at the file-level so no intensive cybersecurity training is required. To find out more visit the SecureAge Security Suite