The cost and damage a data breach wreaks on enterprises is often ambiguous, and you will only understand the real impact way down the line. The fact remains that data breaches harm your brand and may leave you with lasting effects, forcing you to try to rebuild trust with your customers for years to come.
The true impact of a breach may include:
- The financial impact that often depends on the number of compromised records (up to hundreds of millions of dollars in enterprises)
- Loss of revenues as almost 40% of losses are due to lost business because of damaged reputations and the increased cost to acquire new customers
- Failure to attract new talent if the breach is notable enough to make the news and concerning enough to put off prospective resources
- A lot of time and effort that you will have to spend to uncover how it occurred, who was responsible, and what controls could have helped increase your cybersecurity posture
To help your enterprise avoid these costly data breaches, let’s look at what the main causes of data breaches are and how you can prevent them from happening in your company.
What are the Top Causes for Successful Data Breaches?
A poor cybersecurity posture is the most common cause of a data breach. While the term implies many different elements the enterprise needs to address, it comes down to the fact that data today is a precious commodity. Any information that remains unsecured will be enticing for opportunistic criminals. The key to protecting your data is improving your cybersecurity posture.
Here are some common deficiencies in cybersecurity posture that will lead to a successful data breach.
Legacy Software with Known Vulnerabilities
Many enterprises have technology stacks that span decades. The investment into these solutions may have been massive while the cost of legacy system modernization could be too much for the C-suite to consider. Why do these systems have the staying power they do in enterprises? It’s because they work.
Consider that many legacy systems depend on operating environments that are out-of-support or use specific versions of software that have since become obsolete. Cybercriminals know about these vulnerabilities and scour the internet for any legacy systems that still communicate with public networks using unsecured protocols and information exchanges.
The quickest fix:
- Invest in legacy system modernization using virtualization solutions
- Patch all software with the latest security updates and consider upgrading to new versions where applicable
- Eliminate technologies that are now known to have vulnerabilities across your technology landscape
A Shortage of Cybersecurity Professionals in the Organization
Cybersecurity is one of the fastest evolving disciplines in the world and resources are becoming scarce due to evolving threats. Add to this the increased threat landscape that comes with remote work, cloud adoption, and an exponential rise in cybercrimes, enterprises may want to skimp on deploying enough resources to protect their network adequately.
These resources are vital to ensure you can detect intrusions, uncover ongoing data breaches, and build controls that strengthen your security posture.
The quickest fix:
- Invest in qualified tools, technologies, and resources that understand the current threat landscape
- Establish controls at every level of the access model (adopting a zero-trust approach for all enterprise data)
- Develop a culture of cybersecurity awareness within the enterprise to ensure your workers know the risks involved
Snoopers, Bloopers, and Misusers
Your networks are vulnerable to inside errors, malicious users, and outside snoopers. The best way to ensure you can prevent a data breach from these elements in the enterprise is with governance policies, network firewalls, and encryption.
A simple user error may infect your network with malware if you’re not using real-time monitoring of all your endpoints connecting to your networks. Similarly, a malicious user can be copying data from unsecured applications if you don’t use granular permissions.
The quickest fix:
- Model your access and permissions on a zero-trust level and revoke permissions frequently for unauthorized users
- Encrypt your data at rest and during transit both inside the corporate network and when communicating over the internet
- Scan all endpoints before granting permission to connect to the corporate network using the latest malware detection tools
Recap on Preventing Enterprise Data Breaches
While cyberattacks and exploits are always evolving, so are the tools you can use to prevent them. Building a stronger cybersecurity posture starts with understanding the risks and eliminating gaps in your threat landscape. With modern weapons like end-to-end encryption, improved cyber hygiene, and a modernized technology stack, any enterprise can defend against even the most advanced cyberattacks.
Enterprises need to adopt a new approach to cybersecurity and data breaches as the risk involved can devastate a business. Even public agencies aren’t immune to these types of attacks and with qualified security resources becoming scarcer, investing in the latest cybersecurity technologies can help prevent an inevitable attack from succeeding.