More information is always helpful in making decisions. Many of us check the weather report before heading outdoors on a hike, to make sure we’re prepared for sun or rain. The same principle holds true in business – the more we learn about our industry and current trends, the better prepared we are to weather oncoming storms. With the increasing focus in recent years on protecting confidential information and ensuring sensitive data is secure, the 2013 Cost of a Data Breach Report sheds light on just how costly it can be when our business information is lost or stolen.
A variety of issues are contributing factors in data breaches for business today. And startlingly, while we are used to thinking of outside attacks as the main focus of a successful defense-in-depth strategy, the report shows that employee negligence and system glitches are actually the cause of nearly two-thirds of data breaches. The costs vary from industry to industry, with healthcare and the financial sectors impacted most, and costs also vary from country to country. Hardest hit were the U.S. and Germany, where companies averaged $5.4 million and $4.8 million, respectively, in data breach costs over the past year.
While the report shows that the per-record cost of data breaches has been increasing slightly, it also highlights the fact that there is still a long way to go for organizations to protect themselves from these losses. And with each company facing unique threats and regulations based on their industry and the laws in their respective countries, we at Symantec see this as a unique opportunity for our partners and the channel community in general to showcase their expertise and serve as a go-to resource for customers.
Partners are in an ideal position to help their customers prevent costly breaches – the report demonstrates how important and effective a comprehensive security strategy is in significantly reducing damages when a breach does occur. And since many companies rely on the channel community to help them make IT decisions, the partner’s role as trusted advisor is even more crucial in developing and implementing a response plan with their customers. An integral part of creating this plan is helping companies evaluate their needs and recommending the best technology to reduce the risk of data breaches caused by insiders – or to prevent it from happening again. The fact remains – effective preparation can help provide shelter from the storm of information loss.
In order to make it simpler for partners to meet their customers’ needs, Symantec has developed an arsenal of products and services that provide partners with the right tools to support their customers throughout the world. We encourage all of our partners to read the full 2013 Cost of a Data Breach Study and share it with their customers, to help them better understand the necessity of having a security strategy in place to mitigate the risk of a data breach and to keep sensitive information protected.