The Identity Theft Resource Center has been tracking security breaches since 2005, and it’s abundantly clear with the release of the organization’s latest report that the threat continues to grow each year. Although there were widely publicized breaches such as the U.S. government’s Office of Personnel Management, VTech Learning Lodge and Anthem in 2015, there are many more records that have been compromised to some extent, but that don’t get the press coverage or qualify as an official IT incident within the definition of the study.
For purposes of their report, the Identity Theft Resource Center defines a breach as “an event in which an individual’s name plus Social Security Number (SSN), driver’s license number, medical record, or a financial record/credit/debit card is potentially put at risk – either in electronic or paper format.” According to the report, as of December 22, 2015, there had been 766 breaches that exposed 177,840,420 records so far in 2015.
C-Level Executives Consider IT Security a Larger Business Risk
In years past, executives may have de-emphasized the need to invest in cyber security and some may have blatantly ignored the risk. It’s time for all organizations to accept that they are vulnerable to a data security breach and make plans to reduce the impact. Those that don’t, risk:
- Expensive downtime
- Damage to the organization’s brand and reputation
- Class-action lawsuits
How costly is the risk? The Cost of Data Breach Study conducted by Ponemon Institute in 2015 found the average total cost of data breaches for the 350 companies included in the research increased 23 percent from $3.52 to $3.79 million since 2013. The average cost of a lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information was highest for the retail industry and averaged $165 per record. For the first time in its analysis of the costs of a data breach, the study considered the purchase of cyber insurance as well as executive involvement in the IT security strategy and response based on another Ponemon Institute Study that revealed “79 percent of C-level US and UK executives surveyed say executive level involvement is necessary to achieving an effective incident response to a data breach.” The report can help executives predict the likelihood that their organization will suffer a breach and how costly it might be based on the experiences of others in their industry.
Partners to Support Your IT Incident Plans
Today, it’s not a matter of if your organization will experience some level of data breach, it’s a matter of when. MissionMode partners with IT disaster recovery managers across industries by providing the tools they need to quickly and easily communicate critical information and implement incident management procedures. Contact us online to learn about our tools for fast and effective IT issue resolution or give us a call at 877-833-7763 to discuss your unique needs.