While no business wants to experience a data breach, it is becoming increasingly challenging to prevent them in today’s environment completely. Statistics show that approximately 83% of organisations have suffered multiple data breaches.
Data breaches can significantly impact businesses, causing them to incur various costs. In addition to the immediate cost of remediation, there may be lost productivity costs and lost business, as well as damage to customer trust. Furthermore, a company could face extensive legal expenses due to a breach.
As per IBM Security’s report, the cost of a data breach continues to increase. In 2022, the global cost of a single breach reached $4.35 million, marking a 2.6% increase from the previous year. If the affected business is in the United States, the cost rises significantly to $9.44 million. Meanwhile, Canadian companies face an average cost of $5.64 million per data breach.
While the costs for data breaches may be slightly lower for smaller companies, such breaches can have a more devastating impact on SMBs. These companies may not have the same resources as larger organisations to mitigate a breach’s costs and other effects.
Studies indicate that approximately 60% of small businesses will likely close within six months following a cybersecurity breach.
Companies do not have to accept the inevitability of a data breach, as they can use proven tactics to mitigate the associated costs. These cybersecurity practices can help limit the damage caused by a cyberattack. These findings are based on the IBM Security report, which presents hard facts on the benefits of enhancing your cybersecurity strategy.
Cybersecurity Tactics to Reduce the Impact of a Breach
Use a Hybrid Cloud Approach
Cloud storage and business processes are standard practices for many organisations. Research has shown that 45% of all data breaches occur in the cloud. However, not all cloud strategies are equally effective in preventing such breaches.
Data breaches in the public cloud tend to be more expensive than those in a hybrid cloud. A hybrid cloud approach involves storing some data and processes in a public cloud and others in a private cloud environment. It may be a surprise, but a hybrid cloud strategy is more effective than relying solely on a private cloud.
Put in Place an Incident Response Plan & Practice It
An incident response (IR) plan is not just for large enterprises; even small businesses can create one. An IR plan provides instructions for employees to follow during various cybersecurity incidents, such as a data breach or ransomware attack.
For example, if a ransomware attack occurs, the first step in the IR plan should be to disconnect the infected device. Having a well-practised incident response plan can improve the speed and effectiveness of response during a security crisis.
Implementing an IR plan can also help reduce the cost of a data breach, with the average cost per incident being lowered by $2.66 million.
Adopt a Zero Trust Security Approach
Zero trust is a group of security protocols designed to strengthen a network’s defences. Some examples of these protocols include multi-factor authentication, application safelists, and contextual user authentication.
Surprisingly, around 79% of critical infrastructure organisations have yet to implement zero trust. However, adopting these tactics can substantially decrease the cost of data breaches. Organisations that fail to deploy zero trust protocols often pay an additional $1 million per data breach.
Use Tools with Security AI & Automation
Implementing the appropriate security tools can significantly impact the cost of a data breach. Specifically, using security AI and automation tools can save the highest cost.
Using security AI and automation solutions can reduce data breach expenses by as much as 65.2%. These solutions often include tools such as advanced threat protection (ATP) and applications that can detect and respond to potential threats automatically.
How to Get Started Improving Your Cyber Resilience
Implementing best practices is an effective way to reduce the cost of a data breach. You can start by tackling them individually and upgrading your cybersecurity strategy accordingly.
Begin by working with a trusted IT provider to develop a roadmap. First, address the “low-hanging fruit” to quickly improve your security posture. Then, move on to longer-term projects.
For instance, putting multi-factor authentication in place is an example of “low-hanging fruit.” It’s a low-cost and easy-to-implement measure that can significantly reduce the risk of a cloud breach.
A longer-term project could include creating an incident response plan and scheduling regular drills to identify and address weaknesses. By following a step-by-step approach, you can build a robust cybersecurity strategy that minimises the risk and cost of data breaches.
Need Help Improving Your Security & Reducing Risk?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the security burden, working with a trusted IT partner can help. Call Qamba today to discuss creating a cybersecurity roadmap for your business. We can work together to identify the areas that need the most attention and develop a plan to improve your security posture.