How Costly Is a Data Breach?

Data breach costs are on the rise, and the number might seem shocking.  As the wave of data breaches continues to roll on, consumers are worried that their personal information may be compromised. The cost of the burden is far worse for businesses; the concern lies in loss of intellectual property, operational disruption, decreased customer trust, and of course revenue.

How much does a data breach actually cost, besides reputation?

According to IBM’s Cost of Data Breach Study furnished by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach is a whopping $4 million dollars, a number that has gone up 29% since 2013.

According to the ID Theft Center, there have been 5,754 data breaches between November 2005 and November 2015 that have exposed 856,548,312 records. The top data breaches include major retailers such as Target, Home Depot, Sony Pictures, and Anthem.

Despite our connectivity making life easier, conducting transactions online comes with some risks. Data transmission across the internet is a complex process, but happens rather quickly. Most hackers strike with a “man in the middle” (MITM) attack. Simply put, they watch or tweak your data as it moves to where it needs to go.

The hacker sees the information going to and from your computer. They intercept, and alter, the communication between you and the website.

This is why data protection should be a top priority for businesses. Anyone who exchanges sensitive information, whether it’s digital or analog, should invest in a security plan that includes hard drive destruction, data destruction, and document shredding.

What can your organization do to protect itself?

While no company or government agency is completely immune to a potential data breach, there are some important steps to take to mitigate risk –

  • Shred hard drives and other data-containing equipment such as smart phones
  • Have a well thought out incidence response plan in place and update it on a regular basis
  • Use scanning technology to monitor your network for vulnerabilities
  • Encrypt sensitive data
  • Shred old files, bank statements, and paperwork

It is imperative that businesses have a strong policy relating to data security and destruction, and this policy should be written to include evidence of destruction.

Legal Shred can help businesses and consumers properly destroy both digital and paper data to mitigate identity theft and non-compliance. We offer hard drive destruction, electronics recycling, and document shredding to ensure the safety of your business and its data. After your material has been destroyed, we send a certificate of destruction so you know that your data is no longer usable.

Your bottom line and reputation depends on it. Contact Legal Shred for a free quote today.

Data Breach

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