As we enter 2018, data loss prevention is becoming a necessary part of business planning, as there just don’t appear to be many industries immune to breaches. 2017 has seen a spate of data loss breaches from not just some of conventional industries such as healthcare, financial services and retail, but also others like automotive, hospitality and even the military, in some cases. Here are some reasons why your business really needs data loss prevention in 2018:
- The threat is not just external
There’s a difference between what you see reported in the news media and what is actually happening in the U.S. and around the globe. Statistically speaking, internal threats account for just over half of all data loss. That’s according to an Insider Threats Report from 2017. While it doesn’t pay to solely look at one piece of data, the trend of roughly half of all threats being internal has existed across multiple studies for a number of years.
- Financial ramifications can be huge
According to a poll of 1,000 business decision makers, the average cost believed to be incurred from a data breach was around $1 million. Clearly, this depends a great deal on what industry you are in, but it’s something to be mindful of, particularly if your data is sensitive and would be worth something to other people.
- Financial ramifications are just the start
Quantifying the consequences of an internal data breach is a difficult thing to do, largely because loss of reputation and trust. Even if your business can take the financial hit from fines and compensation, it also has to withstand what can be sometimes a substantial loss of business. This can be particularly harmful for small businesses who don’t quite have the buffer of the larger, often multinational counterparts.
- Big data is here to stay
Companies are now moving to a place where they exist on data, and the growth of the big data industry is proof of that. While sensitive data nowadays often consists of things such as financial details and social security numbers, companies will increasingly find in the future that the data they keep on customers is more sophisticated and personal – and therefore sometimes more valuable to an outsider, which can lead to an internal worker deliberately releasing it.
- Thoughts on the Cloud are in the cloud
Most of us are moving to cloud-based computing and SaaS applications as a cost-effective way of storing and using data without having to pay for large builds. However, this also means that a DLP plan needs to be in place to ensure that sensitive data that your company currently keeps in the cloud is encrypted and that its transmission to third parties is prevented.
- Intellectual property protection is important to your customers and your business
This can be one of the biggest long-term consequences of data loss. While a breach of personal information about customers can be wide scale in its negative effects, an intellectual property breach is narrow, but incredibly damaging. If your company holds trade secrets, plans etc, either for your business or your customer, it’s essential that these are protected appropriately with a DLP strategy.
- Endpoints are increasing
With remote work becoming more and more common, the number of endpoints that data is stored on is therefore also increasing. These can be within your business’ computer network but it can also be outside it, in public places or at home. In these cases, you need a technology monitor that is installed on all of these devices that prevents certain sensitive or confidential actions happening as part of your DLP strategy.
A data loss protection strategy doesn’t have to be an alarming addition to your company’s business plan. However, it is starting to become concerning how many businesses, big and small, are avoiding the need for one of these, given that amount of data we use is growing exponentially. Internal threats can be both malicious and totally by accident, so it’s important to protect your employees, your company and, of course, your customer from the ramifications of data breaches.