Exploring the Long-Term Effects of a Data Breach on Businesses
Data breaches are continuously making headlines. Even organizations that were once considered secure are now falling victim to data breaches. The need to emphasize better security standards is unavoidable now.
One way or another, it is important for businesses to understand how a data breach can impact their organization. A data breach, especially one that compromises the sensitive data of customers or employees, can be disastrous for your business.
How can you secure your data from a data breach?
Companies must implement basic security practices such as strong password policies, security awareness training programs, least privilege access models, and encryption of sensitive data.
Further, they should also consider investing in a robust cybersecurity plan, which includes an incident response plan, that can be quickly deployed in case a data breach occurs.
Having a comprehensive cybersecurity plan will help you ensure high level of data protection which includes:
- Intrusion detection
- Active monitoring and reporting
- Compliance reporting
- Behavioral monitoring
- Asset discovery
- Best security practices and protocols in place
- Extensive backup and disaster recovery planning
If you fail to create and implement a cybersecurity defense plan, you’re essentially planning to become a victim to data breaches.
A 2019 study by Verizon highlighted that data security and privacy are critical for maintaining customer relationships. 69% of participants said they would avoid a company that had become a victim of a data breach. 29% of survey respondents said they would never visit that company again.
Business owners should understand the consequences of a data breach and assess the risks associated with it. Often small businesses believe that they do not need to invest in cybersecurity because they are too small to be a target for a cyber-attack. However, that is not the case. That lack of preparation enables attackers to exploit potential vulnerabilities of a company and cause a data breach.
Threats of a data breach can come from your third-party suppliers and consultants, from your own employees who have access to your network, and from cyber criminals who are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to launch a cyber-attack.
There are some short-term effects of a data breach such as fines and penalties that can be dealt with almost instantly. Also, the organization that was targeted may have to perform forensic investigations to determine the cause of the data breach. Such investigations often reveal in-depth insights and significant information that could help prevent future data breaches. However, these investigations can be costly.
In addition to the short-term effects of a data breach, it can also result in devastating long-term effects such as loss of consumer trust, or legal implications that can be detrimental to your business.
To give you a better idea, here are the most common long-term effects of a data breach on businesses:
Aaron Cure is the Principal Security Consultant at Cypress Data Defense and an instructor and contributing author for the Dev544 Secure Coding in .NET course. After 10 years in the U.S. Army, I decided to switch my focus to developing security tools and performing secure code reviews, penetration testing, static source code analysis, and security research.