How Lapses In Your Cybersecurity Could Cost Your Business Money

cyber security lapse cost business money exploited data weakness

How much money would you expect your business to lose from a data breach? You might be tempted to think that, as harrowing as it would be for you to discover a breach of your company’s data, the crisis would largely be a one-off one from which your firm could easily recover with time. 

However, CSO relays research revealing that, last year, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86m – including financial opportunities lost due to bad publicity surrounding the breach. 

Breaking Down The Financial Numbers Springing From Cybersecurity Failures 

The $3.86m figure originates from research partially undertaken by the Michigan-based Ponemon Institute, which also found that, though the costs of a data breach fell by 1.5% after 2019, the 2020 figure still represented a 10% increase over the preceding five years. 

In all, the figure factored in direct costs, like those associated with time and effort spent dealing with breaches, and other costs incurred further down the line, like regulatory fines. Furthermore, almost 40% of the average total cost of a breach results simply from lost business – and this average cost is rising for those companies not taking any cybersecurity precautions. 

Why Are Small Companies At Particular Risk? 

While it’s easy to assume that big-name companies must be the clearest targets for cyber thieves, CNBC reports that 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses. Worse, only 14% of these firms are ready to defend themselves in the event of an attack. 

What makes this revelation especially worrying is that, while Ponemon’s research indicates that the costs of a data breach are falling for prepared businesses, these costs are increasing for their counterparts that do not act to guard against lapses in their cybersecurity. 

How The Pandemic Risks Exacerbating The Expense Of Data Breaches 

As much of the global workforce continues to work from home while waiting for the pandemic to recede, we can expect cyber thieves to feast upon the increased opportunities to make their way past a wide range of companies’ digital defences. 

A particular danger during the pandemic era is insider threats, where employees might steal or accidentally leak sensitive corporate information. According to other research by the Ponemon Institute, the tally of publicly disclosed insider incidents has grown by 47% since 2018. 

The research firm Forrester believes that the number of insider incidents will rise by another 8% this year, as American Banker reports. This prediction is largely borne out of the increased ease with which unscrupulous employees could move stolen company data. 

How Can You Strengthen Your Corporate Defences Against Cybercrime? 

There are various measures you can take, including daily backing up and duplicating all of your company’s data and files so that, if they were stolen, you could readily retrieve them – and you couldn’t be held to ransom. 

To help prevent insider threats from arising in the first place, you could deploy a “zero trust” tool, such as Wandera Private Access, to restrict employees’ access to applications they wouldn’t strictly need to use for their day-to-day work.

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