Data breaches make headlines on a weekly basis, and unfortunately, it appears no company is totally safe from cybersecurity threats. Here are a few stats from Thomson Reuters that will raise some eyebrows and get you to rethink the importance of data security:
There are 3,776,738 data breaches per day
58.6% of all data breaches fall under the category of identity theft
The global average cost of data breaches in 2016 was $3.62 million.
The U.S. total was significantly higher at $7.35 million.
The healthcare ($355 million lost), education ($246 million lost), and financial ($221 million lost) sectors have been hit the hardest.
Major Data Breaches in Recent History
In the past few five years, a number of major breaches nearly broke the bank. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable recent data breaches:
Yahoo: The 2013 breach affected 3 billion users. According to estimates, the breach resulted in a $350 million decrease in the final sale price of Yahoo to Verizon.
Equifax: This leak exposed the personal data of 143 million customers in 2017.
Target: This 2013 leak compromised the data of nearly 110 million people.
Uber: In late 2016, the personal data of 57 million users and 600,000 drivers made its way to the web.
Home Depot: In 2014, a theft impacted the credit card information of 56 million people.
While these are just a few examples, this is a glimpse into the staggering amount of people who have fallen victim to data breaches, often by no fault of their own. Each of the above is a major corporation that we’d expect to have the most thorough security standards in place. However, that isn’t always the case.
How to Avoid a Data Breach (and Other Cybersecurity Threats)
There are a number of ways you can avoid falling victim to a data breach, but here are a few sure-fire ways to decrease your chances:
Consistent Employee Training: If employees are unaware of the risks they face, they are unable to avoid them. Ensure they understand what is at risk and enable them with the proper knowledge. As we found in Datto’s State of the Channel Ransomware Report, a lack of cybersecurity training is the main reason for the success of ransomware attacks.
Regular Software Updates: Keeping software up-to-date and installing patches goes a long way to protect your data from any vulnerabilities.
Secure, Independent Backup: Backup allows you to recover from cybersecurity attacks or breaches that do get past your defenses. However, not all backup is created equal. Look for backup tools that offer granular restore (file and folder level) and allow you to recover quickly following a breach.