The Covid-19 pandemic and the quick change to remote working have brought many changes to doing business. Not only have daily operations been affected, but cybersecurity has also undergone a huge change as a result.
These rapid changes have led to confusion, of which cybercriminals have been taking advantage. How have these fast changes affected data breaches? Businesses have experienced a huge increase in data breaches since we all began dealing with Covid-19 and working remotely.
Many businesses didn’t have cybersecurity plan that dealt with most employees working remotely. This left huge gaps in data security including the ability to detect and react to these breaches.
Cost of Data Breaches Increased During 2020
IBM releases a report each year called the “Cost of Data Breach Report” for the specific year. This year’s report shows that with most employees working from home, the cost of data breaches increased by £104,000.
That’s a huge hit to many businesses which have already been struggling through this difficult year. The overall cost of data breaches in the UK this year is £3.9 million on average. When it comes to the average cost of a data breach per record, the amount was £115.
So, depending on the number of records a business has to deal with and the type of data collected, it’s possible to determine how much a data breach could cost your business.
Remote Work & Increase in Cost of a Data Breach
IBM’s report shows that businesses with remote employees have seen an increase in the cost of data breaches. But what are the reasons for this increase in cost?
For one thing, when employees are working away from your business office, it’s much more difficult to monitor activity on the network. It’s not easy to perceive when something criminal is taking place.
When there is a data breach, it causes a major disruption in productivity. This is because employees may not have access to crucial company documents and may not be able to communicate with colleagues. As a result, the employees stop working.
And then it takes time to respond to the breach; in addition, it can take even longer to determine the cost of the breach. In IBM’s report, they found it takes on average about 280 days to identify the issue. However, if a company can respond sooner, say within 200 days, they can save as much as £770,000.
Not only that, but the report also found that 39% of the costs of the data breach come more than a year after the issue happened.
So, not only do cybercriminals gain access to valuable data, but productivity falls as well. That’s a huge impact on a business, but the damage done by the breach can still be felt long after the initial breach. This is because the company could lose customers, face penalties for the data breach, all while making up for the productivity lost in the beginning. A cybersecurity incident has a long-term effect on the busines, which results in even greater costs especially if the organization loses customers and new business.
How to Reduce the Cost of a Data Breach
The first way to reduce the cost of a data breach is knowledge. Most cyberattacks stick with methods that work, and they’ve used for years. Cybercriminals want to steal data for money. So, to that end they will use the easiest, fastest route to get what they want, which is why they use old methods. Why reinvent the wheel if the old methods are still effective?
With this understanding, it’s important to step up your cybersecurity plan by understanding the methods most often used by cybercriminals including:
Human error: most data breaches are successful due to human error. Remote workers may be distracted by their families and face more interruptions. This means their focus isn’t only on work, so it’s easier to make mistakes that could create an in-road for cybercriminals.
Phishing emails: these continue to be an ongoing problem, even though this is an old-fashioned type of cybercrime. This is where Covid-19 has helped the criminals. When employees see emails with information about Covid-19, vaccinations, quarantine, asking for donations they’re more likely to believe these are real. However, most of these emails are fake and have led to numerous data breaches. These emails play on our human emotions.
Ransomware increasing: another issue that’s been increasing is the use of ransomware. Most of this has happened through the malware.
To reduce the incidence and cost of these types of cyberattacks on remote workers, it’s necessary to have a comprehensive security strategy in place. Finding and quickly responding to the breach is the way to cut the cost of these attacks.
In fact, the IBM report shows that when businesses used automated tools to find data breaches or suspicious behavior, they were able to respond quickly and reduce the cost of the damage as a result of the incidents. They also found the use of AI (artificial intelligence) and analytics could save businesses as much as £2.68 million in costs from a data breach.
Many businesses believe their IT networks are secure from data breaches, and yet, many cyberattacks are successful. A better option for companies is to use a managed IT service provider to enjoy better security. You can save millions by using a managed IT service to improve your company’s data security.
Managed IT for Improved Security
With a managed IT service provider, your company’s security will be improved. Why? Because the service provider has the knowledge and experience to deal with today’s cybersecurity issues. Not only that, but they will monitor your system 24/7.
Not only that, but they also monitor virus updates and backups, ensuring your network antivirus and system updates in place to block any vulnerabilities criminals can use to gain access to your data.
In addition, a managed IT company can also spot problems in the network before they happen. This means you won’t have to deal with major downtimes that could disrupt your business. Instead, the IT service provider will be able to take action to keep a major issue from occurring.
With a managed IT service, you’ll have improved security for remote workers, and improved network performance. In this way, your company can stay safe and secure, cutting out the major costs that can result from a huge data breach.
23rd February 2024
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