The Lasting Effects Of A Data Breach
28th March 2023
Obviously, a data breach is one of the worst things that can happen to a business’s IT department, and we often talk about what happens during the time period, but what about after? We are looking at some of the effects post data breach and why it is so important to prevent this from happening.
A recent example?
A recent example of a large data breach that made it to mainstream media is Twitter’s breach that happened at the end of 2022. The hacker stole over 400 million users’ data and then this data was sold.
It has now been speculated that of this figure, approximately 200 million email addresses in particular were stolen and then sold.
This example is obviously one from a large case involving a large company, but it does give us clear examples of what happens after.
GDPR legislation and fines
One of the large impacts of a data breach is the money that is lost. Either way you turn you are looking at losing money. The first and potentially largest expense is fines, if a breach happens because there were security measures missing in your network, or you have broken GDPR legislation, you could be looking at heft fines.
According to the EU GDPR website, companies can be fined up to 20 million euros, or 4% of their total turnover (in the case of undertaking). GDPR legislations have become stricter and breaches are now being treated more seriously, as users are sharing more and more personal information online.
The second financial impact on your business is the amount of time spent recovering. A breach can steal and encrypt all of your company’s files and data meaning you cannot access any of it. And the time your business is not operating as it should means money lost. In some cases, the cost of downtime for a business can exceed the cost of ransomware, which brings us to the next point…
In cases of phishing and ransomware attacks, cybercriminals will hack into your systems, steal the data and encrypt it whilst presenting you a price in order to get your data back. The ransom price is not going to be cheap and will always be higher depending on how sensitive the data is and the size and finances of your company.
As we mentioned before, not having access to your data and files can stop the operation of your business, and this can cost your company huge amounts of money.
Examples of this can be:
- Not having access to your customer information
- Not being able to complete projects
- Unable to log into essential systems (CRM, email, etc…)
- Being unable to continue contact with both external and internal parties
Damage to your reputation
In terms of future business, the damage to your business’s reputation can be one of the hardest things to recover from. If your customer’s data is stolen you will have to notify them and this can make them lose trust in you (both B2B and B2C businesses need to have brand trust, and something like this can undo even years of building relationships with customers).
Not only new customers, but existing customers may also turn to competitors if they believe their business’s security measures are more vigilant. As a business, you have worked so hard to gain brand trust and recognition, don’t let cybercriminals take that away from you!
How can I prevent data breaches?
There are methods out there to prevent this sort of thing from happening, that are inexpensive and take up little time to set up:
- IT security packages – IT support providers can offer security packages that include things like data backup, content filtering, and more.
- Spam & ransomware protection – This significantly reduces the risk of ransomware and phishing attacks, it works by software monitoring and filtering the content that ends up in your email inbox and removing anything that may contain malicious content, images, links, etc…
- Staff training – included in the security package, KnowBe4 offers employee training to you and your staff to know what to look out for and can identify potentially malicious content and cyber threats (it includes online training courses, as well as test emails to practice).
- Having strong passwords – One easy way to protect yourself (both inside and outside of work) against cyber threats is to have strong passwords. A password should contain at least one capital letter (preferably not at the beginning) 1 special character, numbers, and ideally more than 10 characters. For example – fl0weR566 is stronger than Flower566 as the capital letter and special characters aren’t in the most obvious places.
To know more about keeping your business safe, please visit our website.