No business wants to suffer a data breach. But unfortunately, in today’s environment, it’s difficult to completely avoid them. Approximately 83% of organizations have experienced more than one data breach. (IBM Security 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report) These breaches hurt businesses in many ways. First, there is the immediate cost of remediating the breach. Then, there are the lost productivity costs. You can add lost business on top of that, and lost customer trust. A business could also have extensive legal costs associated with a breach. According to IBM Security’s report, the cost of a data breach climbed again in 2022. The global cost of one breach is now $4.35 million, up 2.6% from last year. If your business is in the U.S., the cost rises to $9.44 million. In Canada, the average data breach costs companies $5.64 million. Costs for smaller companies tend to be a little lower. But breaches are often more devastating to SMBs. They don’t have the same resources that larger companies do to offset all those costs. It’s estimated that 60% of small companies go out of business within six months of a cybersecurity breach. Companies don’t need to resign themselves to the impending doom of a data breach. There are some proven tactics they can take to mitigate the costs. These cybersecurity practices can limit the damage of a cyberattack. All these findings come from the IBM Security report. They include hard facts on the benefits of bolstering your cybersecurity strategy.
Cybersecurity Tactics to Reduce the Impact of a Breach
Use a Hybrid Cloud Approach
Most organizations use the cloud for data storage and business processes. Researchers found that 45% of all data breaches happen in the cloud. But all cloud strategies are not created equally. Breaches in the public cloud cost significantly more than those in a hybrid cloud. What is a hybrid cloud? It means that some data and processes are in a public cloud, and some are in a private cloud environment. What some may find surprising is that using a hybrid cloud approach was also better than a private cloud. Graph from: IBM Security/Ponemon Institute 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report
Put in Place an Incident Response Plan & Practice It
You don’t need to be a large enterprise to create an incident response (IR) plan. The IR plan is simply a set of instructions. It’s for employees to follow should any number of cybersecurity incidents occur. Here is an example. In the case of ransomware, the first step should be disconnecting the infected device. IR plans improve the speed and effectiveness of a response in the face of a security crisis. Having a practiced incident response plan reduces the cost of a data breach. It lowers it by an average of $2.66 million per incident.
Adopt a Zero Trust Security Approach
Zero trust is a collection of security protocols that work together to fortify a network. An example of a few of these are:
• Multi-factor authentication
• Application safelisting
• Contextual user authentication
Approximately 79% of critical infrastructure organizations haven’t adopted zero trust. Doing so can significantly reduce data breach costs. Organizations that don’t deploy zero trust tactics pay about $1 million more per data breach.
Use Tools with Security AI & Automation
Using the right security tools can make a big difference in the cost incurred during a data breach. Using tools that deploy security AI and automation brought the biggest cost savings. Data breach expense lowered by 65.2% thanks to security AI and automation solutions. These types of solutions include tools like advanced threat protection (ATP). They can also include applications that hunt out threats and automate the response.
How to Get Started Improving Your Cyber Resilience
Many of these ways to lower data breach costs are simply best practices. You can get started by taking them one at a time and rolling out upgrades to your cybersecurity strategy. Working with a trusted IT provider, put together a roadmap. Address the “low-hanging fruit” first. Then, move on to longer-term projects. As an example, “low-hanging fruit” would be putting multi-factor authentication in place. It’s low-cost and easy to put in place. It also significantly reduces the risk of a cloud breach. A longer-term project might be creating an incident response plan. Then, you would set up a schedule to have your team drill on the plan regularly. During those drills, you could work out any kinks.
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Article used with permission from The Technology Press.