Businesses need to treat their data with the utmost importance. It’s the lifeblood of systems and many businesses would find themselves stumbling if they suffered data outage or loss. While those types of incidents are severe, they’re perhaps not quite as bad as that data being stolen.
As more enterprises are becoming aware of the significance of their data, so the need to combat cybercrime climbs the agenda. While it might seem that it’d be obvious if you’ve been a victim of data theft, that’s not always the case. It’s vital that businesses respond to threats quickly and damage control effectively if they are targeted.
However, a recent study has found that many businesses are taking far too long at even detecting that they’ve been the victim of a data breach. The research comes from the Ponemon Institute, sponsored by Arbor Networks, and was published on May 19th.
The research found that the average cyberattack takes 98 days to be detected. When it comes to the financial sector, that figure raises even more to 197 days. It’s shocking that it takes over half a year for a breach to be detected and it’s unacceptable.
The study also discovered that 44 percent of retailers experience over 50 cyberattacks a month, while 83 percent of financial services also undergo the same amount.
“The time to detect an advanced threat is far too long,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the organisation who conducted the research. “Attackers are getting in and staying long enough that the damage caused is often irreparable.”
Hackers can cause a lot of damage, including disrupting services, compromising customer records and deleting data. As a result, this can lead to fines, government intervention and a harmed reputation. No enterprise can afford to suffer from this, especially when it’s taking them many months to even notice something has gone amiss.
Of course, the data loss can be mitigated by investing in a strong backup plan. Even if the source data is stolen or deleted, a company with a backup plan will be able to restore from the secondary copies of data they have. Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop the repercussions that will occur from someone maliciously handling company data.
As such, it’s vital that companies have facilities and procedures in place to reduce their chances of being victims of cybercrime. But they need to go one step further than that – it’s not good enough to just prepare for it and call it a day. There also needs to be continual testing, to ensure that data integrity has been maintained and no-one unauthorised has accessed the data.
It may be a costly investment, perhaps needing an agency or more employees to handle it, but the costs to insure safety are worth it when weighed against those that will come as a result of cybercrime. When it comes to data, especially sensitive business data, there should be no shortcuts taken – keep it encrypted, safe, and check it constantly for security so that you can react quickly in a disaster.
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