Research Hub > How to Protect Your Organization Against a Data Breach in 2022

May 12, 2022

Article
5 min

How to Protect Your Organization Against a Data Breach in 2022

Data breaches are a costly expense that no organization wants to ever have to deal with. This guide provides a few of the most recent tips on how to protect your organization from a data breach in 2022.

It seems like we’re reading about a new data breach in the headlines every day. They’re costly, they’re reputation-damaging, yet many organizations are still unprepared to deal with a data breach when it does happen. While it’s more than likely that bad actors may try to breach your organization at some point, a successful data breach is NOT inevitable. This guide provides a few of the most recent tips on how to protect your organization from a data breach in 2022.

How Can a Data Breach Hurt My Organization?

Anyone can be at risk of a data breach – from startups to global enterprises. A data breach is indeed a costly expense that has the potential to damage ones’ lives and reputations that will take a good amount of time to repair. A data breach can hurt both your organization in a variety of ways such as:

  • Financial Loss: Compensating affected customers, having to implement incident response efforts, breach investigation, investing new security measures, legal fees, and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) non-compliance penalties
  • Operational Downtime: Disruption of business operations in the aftermath – containing the breach, conducting a thorough investigation, and the potential of having to shut down completely for investigators to get all the answers needed
  • Sensitive Data Loss: Personal information that identifies an individual such as a name, email address, IP address, images, genetic data, biometric data, and credit card information
  • Reputational Damage: customers doing their business elsewhere, a loss in consumer trust, and impacts an organization’s ability to attract new customers, future investments, and new employees

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According to Gartner, the average cost of network downtime is around $5,600 per minute, equating to well over $300,000 per hour.

What Causes a Data Breach?

As technology has advanced over the years, so have the skills of cybercriminals. The likelihood of your organization experiencing a data breach has also increased significantly. To make sure that your organization can protect itself, it is important to know and understand some of the most common causes of data breaches. Outside of an outdated security infrastructure, Weak or stolen password credentials, malware, internal threats such as a disgruntled employee leaking data, the physical theft or loss of a company device, social engineering, and human error are all likely culprits. Once you fully understand these common causes of data breaches, you will be in a better position to detect them and be better equipped to know how to handle them.

How to Protect Your Organization from a Data Breach

As a business, it is critical to know how to protect yourself from a data breach and start to act on keeping your data secure so that you do not become a victim. Here are several ways you can protect your organization from experiencing a data breach.

Encrypt Your Data

To secure your organization’s information that continues to be digitally transferred, shared, and even stored, your data should be encrypted. Data encryption allows sensitive communication and information within your organization to stay secure without posing the risk of a security breach. Encryption will make it virtually impossible for cybercriminals to back and break through the code to get ahold of your organization’s information. Even if your IT vault is hacked or an employee loses a company device such as a phone or laptop, data encryption will help protect your data and keep it safe. 

Get Employees Involved

An educated workforce will always be your best defense against a data breach. Training employees on cybersecurity tactics such as how to generate strong passwords, how to encrypt data, limiting employee access to external websites, and how to properly store company data is the best thing you can do to safeguard your organization.

Read: What Does an Effective Employee Cybersecurity Training Program Look Like?

Hire a Cybersecurity Expert

People go to a surgeon to perform surgery, and a lawyer to give them legal services. Hiring an expert in cybersecurity to help protect your organization against data breach hackers is no different. You need experts on your side. Bring in a cybersecurity expert to speak on how your organization can keep security at top of mind and the best practices to follow. Better yet, professional cybersecurity services can help you fill skill gaps in your IT team, find the holes in your network and patch them, or manage any programs that can automate threat detection. Odds are that cybercriminals are experts in cybersecurity – counter with experts of your own to help prevent a data breach.

What to Do If Your Organization Falls Victim to a Data Breach?

If your organization becomes a victim of a data breach, it’s very important to implement a plan to respond to it quickly and efficiently. Below are several steps that are necessary to take in the event of a data breach:

  • Notify the Appropriate Parties: If your organization experiences a data breach, you should notify the authorities, affected businesses, and your customers as soon as possible. The sooner you let all appropriate parties know, the more quickly you can begin to remedy the situation.
  • Secure Your Systems: Move quickly to secure your operations. Also, fix vulnerabilities that could have caused the breaches such as weak company passwords or subpar security infrastructures to avoid the potential of multiple data breaches.
  • Conduct a Data Breach Response: Gathering a team of experts together to conduct a comprehensive incident response is critical so that they can solely spend their time looking into the breach so that you can focus on putting out the other fires that the breach may have caused. Depending on the size of your organization, this team of experts might include departments such as legal, forensics, human resources (HR), communications, investor relations, and information technology (IT).