Data Breaches Due to Unencrypted Information Represent a Huge Business Risk
Data breaches of unencrypted sensitive information occur often, and many are highly publicized. Businesses are thrust into the spotlight and scrutinized for scandalous lack of oversight and accountability around data security. And even though these breaches happen at the IT level, the burden and the blame for a data breach usually falls on C-level leaders such as the CEO or CIO. Customers question, “Why didn’t you protect my personal information?” and the leaders respond, “We didn’t think it would happen to us.”
Businesses must be proactive against security threats
Today business leaders need to know that security attacks are no longer a matter of “if” but “when.” Even within secure networks and behind firewalls, unencrypted sensitive data is a goldmine for hackers.
Not protecting this information with encryption is like driving a brand-new Ferrari without car insurance. You can drive as safely as you want, but you can’t control the behavior of other drivers. Just like driving without insurance, not encrypting your company’s sensitive data in a time when hackers are always trying to break into networks is taking a huge risk with both your organization’s financial resources and reputation.
Why is unprotected data a business problem?
In most organizations, a large part of the CEO’s role is to assess risk. Each day, business leaders in any given organization review and respond to financial, market, competitive, and many other types of risk. These leaders are accustomed to assessing risk in their organizations, but many are only beginning to consider the possibility of a data breach as a fundamental risk. Unprotected sensitive data leads to identity theft, fraud, and theft of financial resources from employees and customers.
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Costly data breaches can happen to any business
Data breaches happen to companies of all sizes, and in both the public and private sector.
In fact, hackers will often target small to mid-sized businesses simply because those networks tend to be less secure. However, we still see large businesses that have failed to protect their customers’ data — either by not encrypting the data or failing to protect the encryption keys.
Anyone who’s been through a data breach understands the great importance of encryption and encryption key management. The costs associated with a data breach are far reaching, and include:
- Forensics investigation
- Credit monitoring for customers
- Lost sales due to brand damage
- Litigation costs
These are expenses that every organization wants to avoid. They represent huge risk in terms of actual financial costs and damage to reputation. Not considering these costs and not protecting your company and customers’ sensitive data is a failure to assess risk. Assure Security can help your business fight back against security threats to your sensitive data.
For more information, read our eBook: Understanding the Risks of a Data Breach