Originally posted to DP Facilities

By Sonia Sexton, Chief Security Officer, DP Facilities Data Centers

Data breaches and cyber attacks have been making headlines for nearly as long as the Internet has existed, and threats to private and business-critical information have become an unfortunate but accepted reality. Yet, as data has become a core pillar of digital business, the threat of these events has grown more dire, and the repercussions of improper data security have grown more debilitating. This evolving cyber security climate means that statistics are reporting upwards of 1,400 data breaches in the U.S. alone in 2019, revealing the annual number of exposed records in these U.S. breaches to total 164.68 million in that same year. Given these realities, businesses across a range of verticals are looking to build up protection against these threats so that they — and their customers — can thrive in a data-driven era.

The costs of a data breach can be extensive, and in some cases it can be difficult to recover. In 2019, the average cost of a data breach to an organization in the U.S. reached more than $8 million, and it’s likely that this number will continue to rise. Furthermore, damage to customer trust and market sentiment can spell disaster for companies looking to remain competitive. In fact, a PwC survey of 2,000 American adults revealed that 88 percent base their willingness to share personal information on how much they trust a company, while 87 percent say they will take their business elsewhere if they don’t trust a company is handling their data responsibly. Overall, in a survey about what crimes Americans were most worried about in 2019, having personal information stolen by computer hackers topped the list, with 72 percent of a group of more than 1,500 respondents having this concern. This beats out the fear of home burglaries (43 percent reported concern over this) or becoming a victim of terrorism (coming in at 29 percent).

What’s needed to protect data against malicious attacks and their impacts is comprehensive data security strategies. While the individual needs of different verticals — including federal government, banking, healthcare or other industries that deal with highly personal data — may call for different compliance measures, every business, regardless of size or sector, should be prioritizing data protection.

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