Imagine trusting a company enough to give them access to your personal information, only to find out it was compromised during a data breach. Do you know where your information goes once it has been breached? Are you educated on how to protect yourself or your organization from cybercriminals? If the answer is no, you’re reading the right article.
We know that data breaches are dangerous, but just how harmful or expensive can they be? Simply put, data breaches have the power to take down an entire organization and its surrounding community. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average total cost of a data breach in the United States in 2020 was $8.64 million. As a result, this means that not only is your sensitive information at stake, but capital, company investments, and budgets are vulnerable as well.
In this article, we will uncover the reality behind data breaches. We will gain a deeper understanding of what happens after a breach occurs, prevention, and the vital role cybersecurity plays in all of this.
When a company is breached, it can result in fines, lawsuits, and brand reputation loss with customers, partners, and employees. In 2019, an estimated 15 billion personal records were lost, and by the beginning of Q4 of 2020, an estimated 36 billion were compromised. These breaches include information like first/last name, address, phone number, usernames, passwords, etc. Even answers to many knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions have been compromised. (e.g., what was the make and model of your first car?). Because so many different companies rely on this type of data to identify their customers, a single breach can have widespread ramifications for companies that were not breached.
While criminals can use this data to perpetrate a variety of crimes at other companies, two of the fastest-growing are account takeover (ATO) and synthetic identity fraud. Because many people use the same password for multiple accounts or recycle passwords, criminals can use stolen usernames and passwords to takeover numerous accounts. Alternately, they can use stolen KBA questions/answers to pose as a consumer, reset their password, and takeover the account. It is estimated that ATO has risen 650% in Q1 alone. While this number may be troubling, criminals are limited by the number of real accounts.
To circumvent the limitations of account takeover, criminals have begun making an account for entirely factious people to commit crimes. Synthetic identity fraud occurs when criminals combine fictitious and factual information to create new identities. They can then use these identities to steal a variety of goods and services. If the identity is ever flagged as fraudulent, the criminal simply abandons it and makes another. As long as breaches continue to occur, synthetic identity fraud is the crime without limit.
The truth is that data breaches impact both consumers and businesses; however, businesses play the most critical role in prevention. In today’s market, organizations have an increased demand for cybersecurity solutions to reduce IT teams’ capacity concerns and add firmer security layers, making it harder for cybercriminals to breach networks successfully.
A Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform is the best possible cybersecurity solution. As the number of data breaches continues to grow, SIEM platforms are evolving to prevent and expose vulnerabilities, attacks, criminals, and other cybersecurity threats. If your business is looking to invest in a cybersecurity solution, this section will provide a deeper understanding of key Next-Gen SIEM features:
To combat potential threats, demanding these features out of your cybersecurity solution should be non-negotiable. Cybercriminals are becoming more creative with their attack methods, which means organizations, big and small, need to ensure their security posture is in the best possible shape.
The key to building a better cybersecurity experience is rooted in the relationship between a Next-Gen platform and its users. As a consumer, when it comes to data breaches, the first thing that should come to mind is prevention. Here are a few recommendations for protecting yourself from cybercriminals who have mastered the art of bypassing the top network defenses:
The truth is that businesses and consumers are responsible for protecting their networks, servers, and personal and professional information. By following these few steps and tips, you can help prevent cybercriminals from accessing your personal information and your organization’s network.
The takeaway here is that businesses need consumer cooperation to uphold their cybersecurity posture, and consumers need businesses to ensure their security policies, protocols, and platforms will defend their information. Cultivating a trustworthy relationship is the best way to prevent data breaches. Breaches in data come with extra baggage, which can take business years to unpack. Consequently, there are tremendous potential consequences of a breach involving sensitive personal information, like biometrics, used for identity authentication and account access. It is essential to maintain robust risk-management practices that balance data protection and network defenses with usability.
There is a more substantial chance of combatting data breaches if everyone does their part. Finding the perfect prevention formula is based upon your organization’s prioritization of cybersecurity and improving its posture.