According to the sixth annual Ponemon report, 2010 Annual Study: U.S. Cost of a Data Breach sponsored by Symantec, the need for complete protection has never been more urgent – 31 percent of all breach cases involved a malicious or criminal act, and averaged $318 per record, up 43 percent from 2009. In addition, the number of breaches caused by negligence edged up one point to 41 percent and averaged $196 per record, up 27 percent from 2009. This steady trend reflects the ongoing challenge of ensuring employee and partner compliance with security policies.
As partners, you have the opportunity to help your customers assess their risk and provide both services and products to help them prevent costly data breaches. To get started, check out this great tool, the Data Breach Risk Calculator, to show your customers their level of risk and engage in a conversation regarding how much a breach would cost their organization.
The report highlighted that training and awareness programs remained the most popular ways to prevent breaches, with nearly two-thirds of respondents using them. Technology alone cannot secure an organization as negligence remains the most common cause of data breaches, coming in at 41 percent of all breaches. Leverage the opportunity to lend your expertise and help your customers develop security-awareness training program to ensure employees understand security issues and behave in a manner that minimizes risk. Policies should be created that ensure your customers’ employees follow best practices in the workplace. In addition, password management must be enforced for all employees.
For those of you who have your Encryption Specialization, or are working toward it, you know the importance of comprehensive information protection based on proven standards-based technology. The study found that the expanded use of encryption stayed the most popular technology solution and, with 61 percent, took sole possession of second place this year. With a combination of PGP Encryption and Symantec Endpoint Encryption solutions, your customers will be well on their way to protecting their business information, and reputation, from a dreaded breach.