Companies of all sizes are at risk of suffering a major data breach or data catastrophe. Privacy and data protection regulations are becoming more stringent. But despite this, the incidence of cybersecurity attacks has grown dramatically. Cybercrime was up 600% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And the cost of these types of attacks and data catastrophes is great. Consider the following statistics:
- The average cost of a malware attack on a company is $2.4 million and lasts approximately 50 days.
- Ransomware damage costs exceeded $5 billion in 2017, which was 15 times the total cost in 2015.
- The average global cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, although they are generally more expensive in the United States. The average time it takes to identify a data breach is 191 days.
- 6% of companies will experience a data breach within the next two years.
- Damage related to cybercrime is expected to exceed $6 trillion this year.
- The United States is number one for targeted cyberattacks.
- 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses.
- The total loss for a company that suffers a data catastrophe – including customer turnover, increased customer acquisition activities, reputation losses, and diminished goodwill – is approximately $4.13 million per company.
While these costs can be lower for small businesses and higher for enterprises, there is no denying that recovering from a major data catastrophe is difficult, if not impossible. Up to 75% of businesses fail after a significant natural or data disaster.
Types of Data Disasters
Planning for a data catastrophe can be difficult because the type of attack and its related impact can vary depending upon the nature of the disaster. While there are many ways in which a company could suffer a data catastrophe, some of the common causes include:
- Data Breaches & Cyberattacks: The rise of cybercrime has been costly, and many of these attacks involve small businesses. Hackers can employ a variety of strategies to gain access to your systems and network for nefarious purposes. These strategies include the use of ransomware, malware, phishing, and spyware techniques. Many of these strategies use social engineering tactics to gain sensitive information from employees.
- Human Error: While nobody wants to believe a data disaster could be caused by employee activity, most – up to 90% – of cybersecurity issues are caused by human error. These actions can be as innocuous as accidentally deleting critical data or code, or they can be related to opening emails and attachments they shouldn’t. Employees can also be coerced into providing sensitive information or access to those who shouldn’t have it. Many of these mistakes are avoidable, but they are still incredibly costly to the company if they do occur.
- Natural Disaster: Some companies may do everything right in terms of keeping data safe and secure. But there is always a risk that something like a natural disaster could wipe out your servers and other vital pieces of digital infrastructure.
- Hardware or Software Failures: While technology works toward constant refinement and improvement, there is no guarantee that it will always perform as expected. Hardware failures account for many instances of data loss. Without redundancies, these losses can be devastating.
And while this list represents some of the common causes of data catastrophes, there are always unforeseen or unexpected threats. You truly never know when a data disaster can occur, which makes preparation beforehand essential to business continuity.
MSSPs and Data Catastrophes
Data is essential to business in today’s economic landscape. It is the foundation for operations, decision-making, and forecasting. But holding onto this data and using it comes with tremendous risk to your company.
Depending upon the unique needs of your business, an MSSP can assess the digital ecosystem and provide the most-needed services. Since the service is customized to meet each client’s needs, it varies from one business to another. Despite this, there are many ways in which an MSSP can help avoid a data catastrophe or lessen its impact if it is unavoidable. Examples include:
- Creating threat scenarios to identify potential risks.
- Developing a disaster recovery plan. This plan would include multiple high-risk scenarios, such as a breach or natural disaster, as well as preparation and mitigation efforts to lessen the impact of these types of catastrophes.
- Implementing redundancy. Redundancy is essential as a backup strategy. Placing failsafes and redundancies across the network can prevent a data catastrophe even if one piece of equipment is lost or information is deleted from one location.
- Developing a recovery strategy. A recovery strategy is essential after suffering a data catastrophe. The amount of downtime you have will depend upon how effective your recovery plan is. And since downtime has a tremendous impact on customer views of our business, minimizing it is essential.
- Data encryption and security measures. MSSPs can analyze your network needs and identify the best possible security solution and encryption algorithms. These measures can help prevent data catastrophes related to cyberattacks.
- Assessment and documentation of all important information. The regular assessment and documentation of data resources, locations, threats, and mitigation efforts are essential in helping you prioritize your security needs.
- Education and training. MSSPs can work with your business to develop sound policies and procedures. They can also help your company create and administer training programs to help employees understand and recognize cyberattacks.
- Breach investigations. After a data breach has occurred, many companies want to know what factors led to the vulnerability. MSSPs can provide this information so that proper actions can be taken to prevent future attacks.
Nobody wants to suffer a data catastrophe. In many instances, it can mean the end of your business. And even if you do survive the disaster, the impact on your business’s reputation likely means you will never operate as you did pre-catastrophe. Some of these data catastrophes are avoidable, while others are not. No matter what the threat might be at your company, an MSSP can help you prevent those that can be prevented and mitigate the effects of those that cannot.
Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning, and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.