The impact of data breaches

The frequency of data breaches is growing. It’s no wonder 72% of Canadians have admitted to feeling stressed by news of data breaches. A data breach is where personal information (often names, medical records, financial records, etc.) are put at risk, either electronically or in paper format. Not all data breaches are malicious; they can be due to a system glitch or human error.

With constant news of data breaches happening around the world, the constant pressure we are under to protect our personal and digital business data is cause for health issues. Especially among young adults where 46% find it stressful just to managed passwords.

There’s a good chance you’re information has already been in a data breach, and you aren’t aware of it. There has been an unmeasurable amount of Canadians that have been hit by data breaches.

It’s essential for your company to protect employees, customers, and your partners confidential information. The causes for these data breaches are more likely to be a failure of IT or business processes (22% of data breaches), a negligent employee (30%), or a malicious attack, which is the most common cause of data breaches at 48%. The potential financial impact could be massive. Some of the most significant claims dealt with in 2016 involved lost company laptops and the critical data they contained. Companies are starting to see the importance of training employees on proper email use as well as other privacy and security concerns, depending on your company’s information management plan. Since 2015, the use of training and awareness programs has gone up 8%.

It is also important to note the rise of nation-state attacks by countries like Russia, China and North Korea, as seen during the USA’s 2016 presidential election. Nations might be spying on specific companies or people with particular intent (either good or bad).

Health Care data has recently been a high target for malicious attackers. According to Rick Kam, president and founder of ID Experts, “Criminals are using our health identities to get access to opioids from multitudes of pharmacies, (plus illegal and other prescription drugs), and then selling them on the Dark Web.” Health Care data is some of the most expensive data to fix, costing around $398 per breached user.

Do you know your company’s risk of a data breach?
You should take into account what information is held on your computers or servers, such as employee records, customer’s confidential information, etc. You also need to think of how you do business, such as taking payment on your websites and think about who has access to your network, such as an employee’s personal devices or third-party vendors.

Determining why and how a breach took place can be difficult to assess, the larger the company – the more complex. It takes on average 173 days to identify and another 60 to contain with an average cost of $4.9 to $6.65 million. The Canadian government recently passed an order to create a new section in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) that requires all private commercial enterprises to report breaches. Not reporting a data breach promptly can result in a fine of up to $100,000.

For most people, the idea of cybersecurity can be overwhelming; often it’s hard to know where to even start. Customers are losing confidence in businesses and the technology that protects their information. Short of going off the grid, there are simple steps we can take to ensure everybody’s data is safe, and through education and action, cybersecurity can be empowering as users understand how to use the technology that keeps them safe, at home and work.

Next Digital has a complement of solutions for your business. Our security offering features state of the art AI backed cyber security. Our helpful staff will make sure your systems are always correctly updated with the latest security patches. Finally, we offer training for users, which fits your security goals. Please visit us today for more information.

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