Data breaches are a growing concern for businesses and individuals alike. A data breach is when unauthorized access to your systems results in the loss of confidential information. Data breaches can have serious consequences, including financial losses, lawsuits, and fines from regulatory agencies.
At Storage Whale, we’re here to help limit or prevent these risks altogether. We offer robust business cloud storage and data backup services, ensuring your company’s important information is protected in case of any data breach while also helping limit the occurrence of said breaches to begin with. In this post about the impact of data breaches on your business, we will explore some specific ways they might threaten your business, plus how you can identify and remedy them using data backups and related approaches.
Financial Impact of Business Data Breaches
Immediate financial losses can be incurred when data breaches take place. These include the expense of forensics investigations to determine the scope of the attack, notification costs for those potentially affected by the data loss, and credit monitoring services for those who may have had their personal information compromised.
Data breaches might also lead to increased corporate liability risk. For example, if an employee’s computer is breached and customer payment card data is stolen, your company could incur fines from card companies such as Visa or Mastercard, which mandate such fines for those that have not taken all necessary precautions to protect sensitive payment information.
In addition, there may be potential future financial losses in either resources needed to investigate a data breach and notify all affected parties or penalties issued by regulatory agencies. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been increasingly active in enforcing data security regulations and can levy fines up to $16,000 per violation of an FTC regulation.
Loss of Intellectual Property in Business Data Breaches
Data breaches don’t just pose threats to your finances; they also present loss of intellectual property risks. Product designs, research data, and trade secrets are all at risk when someone unauthorized accesses these important files. This has the potential to have a significant impact on your business now or down the line, including removal of major competitive advantages you hold over others in your field.
Business Data Breaches Hurt Your Reputation
In addition, when data breaches occur, your company may lose customer trust. Consumers are often hesitant to engage in business with companies that have been hit by data breaches in the past. There could also be tarnishing of the company’s brand image and increased risk of a boycott.
Luckily, there are several basic approaches to protecting your business from data breach risks, many of which involve basic cloud backups and disaster recovery services. Our next several sections will go over how to set yourself up so data breaches aren’t a concern.
Make a Security Plan
The first thing to do in making a security plan is understanding your priorities. What are the risks to your data, how important is it to keep that data secure, and what are the costs of not doing so? From there, take a look at your existing resources. Does your current computer system have any features which can help you protect against data loss or do you need to upgrade to better protect yourself? The answers to these questions will help shape your security plan moving forward.
Implement Proper Controls
Next, take a look at your current security architecture and review any policies that may be in place. The goal is to identify the potential threats to your data which can then be mitigated with appropriately placed controls.
This could involve establishing appropriate account access privileges and configuring file permissions to help prevent data deletion or unauthorized access. It’s also a good idea to encrypt files containing sensitive information such as customer records, credit card information, or trade secrets.
Another vital approach is to use a cloud backup service, which is ideal for backing up important company data and storing it safely. A cloud-based backup service stores copies of your company data, eliminating the risk of a business-wide data breach. It allows you to store files, such as financial records, customer databases and other important documents, in one centralized location while keeping them secure from hackers at all times.
The next thing to do is establish appropriate network permissions by purchasing hardware or software firewall services. These will help to filter any incoming traffic coming into your corporate network. For example, you could install a firewall at the company network border to prevent unauthorized external intrusions, or a hardware firewall at the server level for additional protection and granular control. You can also use software firewalls on employees’ computers and require two-factor authentication whenever they try to access data remotely.
You should also implement secure remote access services by using virtual private networks (VPN) whenever employees access network resources from outside the corporate firewall. This will prevent any breaches to your data from unauthorized remote users.
Test and Review Your Security Protocols
Some businesses are faced with a new threat that they have not previously encountered. If this is the case, it’s important to understand how quickly you may be able to respond in such a situation.
A good first step is to perform regular audits of your security protocols. This provides an opportunity for early identification if changes to protocols are needed due to new threats which have arisen, while also ensuring that your business risks are identified and managed appropriately at all times.
Another important strategy is developing a comprehensive recovery plan which includes procedures for data backup in the event of a breach. It should also include an incident response plan and clear communication among internal staff, IT personnel and others. This helps ensure that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities to protect against future attacks.
It’s also important to keep your employees up-to-date with security updates through regular training sessions.
For more on how you can comprehensively prepare your business to protect against data breach threats, or to learn about specifics on our business data backup services and disaster recovery services, speak to the staff at Storage Whale today.