According to the cost of data breach report (2019) by IBM and Ponemon Institute, the average total cost of a data breach in 2019 is $3.92 million. This implies that it could cost an organization less or more of $3.92 million to contain a data breach, amongst other damaging implications.
In worse cases involving an enormous volume of data breach, companies may lose upwards of $50 million. More worrisome is the fact that the occurrence of data breaches has been on a continuous rise with a reported 130% increase from 2006 – 2019.
Further reports from VIPRE suggests that about 66% of small and medium businesses would go out of business when faced with a major data breach. The long and short-term implications of a data breach can be overwhelming; this is why we emphasize on preventing a data breach rather than containing one.
Here are five ways you can prevent a data breach and keep your organization safe.
1. Regular Employees Awareness Training
The recent IBM data breach report records that 24% of data breaches are caused by human error, which is primarily made up of negligent and ignorant employees. Employees are one of the most vulnerable and weakest links when it comes to an organizational cybersecurity breach.
Employers should take the cue and regularly train their staffs on cybersecurity measures and best practices.
2. Restrict Access to Data and Sensitive Information
The less access there is to your organization’s data and information database, the less risk of encountering a data breach. If an employee doesn’t have a business accessing certain data, then he or she shouldn’t have the administrative privilege. Create an efficient work system where very few people would be needed to access sensitive and critical data.
Grant administrative privileges according to levels and need; that way, employees will be limited to only what they need to perform their duties.
3. Employ Cyber-Security Specialists.
In today’s IT-driven world, it has become a matter of necessity to have a cyber-security expert among your team of employees
Having a visiting consultant is becoming insufficient because you can never tell when a breach or threat will occur. Besides, an in-house expert will ensure that the needed cyber-security infrastructure is properly setup and updated. In addition, they could also help conduct regular training for other employees.
4. Conduct Cyber test and Audit at Intervals
If you are going to be in charge of your cybersecurity at all times, then you have to always assess for vulnerabilities at brief intervals. Get the experts to do a thorough check to determine how secured your data is or how porous your security systems are.
5. Update Security Software and Tools Regularly.
The IT world is always on the move, software applications get outdated almost as soon as they are created or updated. Cyber-thieves keep evolving; they keep finding ways to adapt and beat cybersecurity. To stay safe, you must be ahead and vigilant.
Always take note of update notifications and take action on them as needed.
Bonus Tip: Strengthened Passwords
Make sure that passwords are complex enough to prevent a guess from brute forces, yet easy to remember.