Data breach threats continue to rise

Apr 07th, 2014 / Category: Managed File Transfer

Without robust security measures, such as cloud FTP, organizations leave themselves especially vulnerable to data breaches. While no data protection regimen is 100 percent fool-proof, the rising prevalence of cyber crime and the extraordinary consequences carried by incidents should encourage businesses to do all they can to guard against accidents. 

Dangers increasing steadily 
Not only are data breaches more costly and damaging than ever, especially as digital information becomes more critical to business operations, they're also becoming more common, forming a persistent threat. Cybercriminals are constantly developing ever more sophisticated strategies to access networks and steal or corrupt resources. Complex network systems and enterprise technologies raise the chances that employees will make mistakes that could expose information or fail to follow secure file sharing practices. As a result, data breaches are becoming frighteningly common.

Describing the results of their recent research into data incidents, ThreatTrack Security Labs noted that companies are likely to see more data breaches in the time to come. The report offered several concerning insights into the state of network security:

  • Cybercriminals develop more than 200,000 new malware threats every day.
  • Most executives are highly concerned about their vulnerabilities - but they're not sure whether or not they've been targeted.
  • The complexity of security solutions is creating challenges for IT teams to implement strong safeguards.
  • Company devices are being compromised as workers click on phishing emails, allowing family members to use them and visit infected pornographic websites.
  • Businesses lost an average of $3.03 million due in potential revenue due to data breaches.
  • Most incidents aren't detected until months after they occur and over half are never disclosed.
  • IT security remains underfunded, creating challenges for staff to provide comprehensive protection.

Bigger threats and bigger stakes 
Not only is the threat of an incident more persistent, the stakes are incredibly high. According to Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report, about 552 million people were impacted by data breaches that exposed their personal information last year, representing a 62 percent growth in the amount of data compromised, International Business Times reported. Individual data breaches also increased in size, in terms of the number of records exposed: In 2013, the top eight data breaches revealed tens of millions of records, whereas there was only one incident of that scale in 2012, the source noted.

Technology market research firm Vanson Bourne found that, on average, companies that experienced data breaches in the last year suffered losses of over $1 million each, The Hindu Business Line reported. Expanding threats caused by Advanced Evasion Techniques (AETs) are contributing to growing Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), the source added. 

Regardless of the source, corporations must anticipate the severity of potential breaches and counter threats with strong security measures and secure file sharing options. Although organizations don't always disclose incidents, this tendency might have to change, particularly with government initiatives aimed at improving data breach responses. As FierceCIO reported, the Federal Trade Commission has requested that Congress pass a bill that will require organizations to alert consumers and government authorities in response to system compromises. The purpose of this legislation is to mitigate the impact of a breach as far as identity theft problems, decreasing the amount of time between detection and notification.

Since 71 percent of consumers already think companies don't do enough to protect their personal data, as ThreatTrack Security Labs mentioned, the increasing prevalence of threat and enforcement of reporting requirements could further erode customer trust, making it critical for organizations to demonstrate how they're taking steps to keep information safe. Those corporations with high-end, effective data management solutions could set themselves apart with security as a differentiator. Doing anything less is quickly becoming an unreasonable risk.