You probably already know just how deeply damaging a data breach can be for your business. Losing data can mean plenty of downtime and the complete loss of your client’s and customer’s confidence; you may also find yourself facing hefty fines for failing to properly secure data that was entrusted to you.
As such, you might be sitting back and congratulating yourself for never having detected a data breach, but we’re afraid those celebrations may be a tad premature.
The silent menace
You might think that your data hasn’t been accessed, and you might be right. However, you may also be profoundly wrong, with research suggesting that 90% of large organisations and 74% of SMEs have been breached in recent years. More importantly 83% of those businesses take weeks or more to even notice that they have been infiltrated. In fact, further research has shown that even financial firms suffer from data breaches for an average of 98 days before becoming aware of the situation – for retailers, that number jumps to 197 days. And don’t think it’s just happening to companies that aren’t particularly tech-savvy; Sony reportedly took over a year to realise that it had suffered a data breach.
Limiting the damage
To better understand this point, let’s take into account this example first. In the event that you own a credit card company, you may wish to ensure the security of your credit card transactions by outsourcing PCI compliance to an established company. However, while security compliance isn’t required from a legal standpoint, if a breach or data exposure occurred and an organization wasn’t PCI compliant, it may suffer fines and, in more extreme cases, be banned from accepting payments from major brands. Data breaches tend to become more serious the longer they are allowed to exist. When your system is first infiltrated, only a limited amount of data may be at risk. As the threat goes undetected, malicious agents are given the opportunity to spy on victims and steal more data. The longer your network is compromised, the more serious the attack is likely to be; again, just ask Sony.
The growing cost of data loss.
What makes these risks even more serious is the fact that compliance regulations are tightening all the time, with the GDPR set to go into effect next year placing hefty fines upon companies that failed to protect the data of their clients and customers. You could be liable in a year’s time for a data breach that kicked off this morning. It may be worth having a GDPR audit to highlight weaknesses in your business’s processes so that you know how to resolve these issues – you can find out How-to help here… If you’re not compliant, you may face financial or legal consequences, so it’s always best to make sure you’re not in breach of any laws.
Of course, your network might really be safe – just remember that not detecting a breach doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have one. For genuine peace of mind, seek out professional IT monitoring support.