Costs Associated with Underinvesting in Cybersecurity

by Brad Garland

Everything has a cost. Whether literal (as in dollars and cents) or figurative (as in lost productivity, retention, and other issues), cybersecurity is no exception to the rule. 

When you think about cybersecurity, your mind probably, rightfully, goes immediately to security breaches. They seem to fill the headlines, with both major corporations and small businesses being targeted by hackers. 

Although it’s very common for businesses of all sizes to assume a breach won’t happen to them, security breaches are becoming increasingly common. Check out this April 2019 data in particular -- over 1.3 billion breached records, bringing the annual total to 5.9 billion, and April was considered a better month!

Underinvesting in cybersecurity can result in very real costs. 

Okay, so we know that the risks are very real for organizations of all shapes and sizes, but you may be wondering what the actual costs could be if your organization is breached. 

Hold your seat, it’s not pretty. 

An annual study into the average cost of a data breach found that the costs came out to about $3.86 million dollars for one data breach in 2018. That’s an increase of 6.4% over 2017 averages. Probably unsurprisingly, the U.S. tops the list of breaches, with Canada a distant second. 

Although costs are of course higher for larger companies, the costs remain significant for companies of all sizes. Broken down into specific records and according to the same data noted above, the average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information is $148 per record. Unfortunately, that is another increase from 2017. Costs could be even higher for healthcare organizations that must adhere to HIPAA regulations. 

Okay, the costs are steep. Now what do I do? 

Many organizations task their IT manager or department with cybersecurity. This is an understandable, but misguided decision. Today’s IT professionals are well versed in a variety of technologies and programming languages; however, they simply aren’t cybersecurity experts. With risks changing, seemingly daily, truly protecting your business, your employees, and your customers requires a company that lives and breathes cybersecurity. One whose employees are constantly reading, listening, and staying on top of technologies, tools, and risks so that you can keep your business humming along nicely while we help you take charge and stay protected. 

The actual solution here is pretty straightforward. While your specific plan may look slightly different, these few steps provide the foundation of a solid cybersecurity plan that has the potential to save your business millions:

  1. Partner with the right cybersecurity firm 
  2. Start small -- a solid cybersecurity plan doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank, rather, it often starts with a small investment in core audits (perhaps a Risk Assessment or Breach Assessment) to identify potential risks. We also provide specific suggestions for mitigating those risks. 
  3. Continue to monitor risk and invest in cybersecurity over time with your strategic cybersecurity partner for continuous monitoring and testing to identify new risks (and handle them) before a breach occurs. 

We’d be honored to serve as your cybersecurity partner.

With Vala Secure whispering in your ear (or perhaps sending an email - your call), we’ll help you be the hero of the office. Keep your business, employees, and customers safe, and avoid the costs associated with breaches. Let’s craft a custom plan that works within your budget and goals to mitigate risk. Contact us today to get started.   

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