Six Data Breach Lessons from the Trenches

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No one is foolproof: We've learned that every sector is susceptible and when cyber criminals find vulnerabilities, they will use them time and again to attack organizations in the same industry. We've seen this with any business – from banks and retailers to the health care industry. While you may not be able to avoid a breach, security professionals can significantly reduce the costs and reputational fallout by being prepared. That means having a strong IT security posture, a chief information security officer or outsourced IT consultant, and an incident response plan. An up-to-date response plan can save an organization nearly 25 percent per record, which in the U.S. can mean a savings of $1.1 million per breach.

Your response plan – similar to a fire drill – should be practiced and backed by a solid team, which includes C-suite executives, IT, legal counsel, forensics, breach resolution providers, public relations and human resources.

As the era of Big Data continues to march forward, so does the number of data breaches. Organizations seem to become more vulnerable every day with breaches rising at an alarming rate. In fact, studies, such as "Quantifying the Data Breach Epidemic" from IBM, indicate that companies are attacked an average of 16,856 times per year, and many of those attacks result in a quantifiable data breach.

And with the average breach costing $5.4 million for businesses in the United States, according to the Ponemon Institute, it's important to be prepared. Multiply that by the hundreds, thousands – even millions – of records that are typically compromised in one breach and you begin to realize just how costly a data breach is both on reputation and a company's bottom line.

With this reality facing us, many security experts are convinced that data breaches are inevitable. So if that is the case, what can your organization do to minimize the damage? Based on experience servicing some of the largest breaches to-date, including three of the four largest breaches in 2013, Experian Data Breach Resolution has compiled six important lessons learned from the data breach trenches.

For more guidance on how to prepare for a data breach, you can also download the Experian Data Breach Response Guide, which is available for free.

Michael Bruemmer is vice president with the Experian Data Breach Resolution group. A veteran with more than 25 years in the industry, Bruemmer brings a wealth of knowledge related to sales and operations.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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