Make cybersecurity a priority for your business

August 29, 2014

Larry Snyder

All organizations, regardless of industry or size, are subject to cybersecurity risks. If you have a business and you don’t have a cybersecurity plan, as the famous line from a popular movie states, you should “be afraid, be very afraid.”

Security breaches have an enormous impact on organizations, resulting in loss of investments, legal costs, and erosion of consumer and investor confidence. The Target breach is a perfect case study in how breaches negatively impact an organization’s reputation.

IBM’s 2012 Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report issued prior to the numerous third-quarter breaches found companies are attacked an average of 2 million times a week, with a 38 percent increase in loss, theft and exposure of personal information as compared to the previous year. Risk Based Security released a report in 2014 indicating the exposure of 822 million-plus records during data breaches in 2013, nearly double the previous high water mark.

The 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study by the Ponemon Institute reveals globally the average cost of a data breach increased from $130 per record to $136, with the United States citing an average cost of $188 per record.

The Computer Security Institute and the FBI conduct an annual computer crime survey. The majority of respondents are organizations with annual revenue of $10 million-plus who allocate some portion of their IT budget toward information security. As alarming as the number of reported breach incidents is, what is more alarming is that 9.1 percent of those surveyed did not know if their organization had experienced a security incident in the previous year.