It would seem (by now) that most companies and organizations would understand the high costs of data breaches across all industries and adjust their security measures accordingly.
The damages to those who waited are immeasurable. Let’s look at the numbers for those who had compromised security systems.
Fallout from the Equifax breach
1. Net income loss of 27%. Initial losses estimated at $27.3 million, with free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection services estimated to cost the company between $56 million and $110 million. Countless class action and other lawsuits in process, with estimates current unknown. Future costs for security and IT enhancements, reputation management, legal and other consumer support costs.
Republican National Committee records
2. Records for almost 200 million registered voters. An analytics firm for the GOP stored the records on a publicly accessible server. Records include names, dates of birth, home addresses, phone numbers, and voter registration details, as well as data described as “modeled” voter ethnicities and religions. RNC payments to two of the firms totaled over $5 million, as reported by Ad Age.
Uber quietly pays off hacker (illegally) in 2016
3. Data for 57 million Uber passengers. After being blackmailed by the hacker in 2016, the company paid $100,000 to keep it quiet (a crime in Uber’s home state of California). Uber will likely face consequences from both state and federal agencies in an already bruising year for the embattled company.
Released hacking tools led to widespread exploits
4. Shadow Brokers/WannaCry/NotPetya hacks. The hackers behind WannaCry demanded money to unlock files. Over 300,000 machines were disabled, including health care and car companies. The tools allowed hackers to compromise a variety of Windows servers and Windows operating systems, like Windows 7 and Windows 8. Ransomware attacks in 2017 for NotPetya crippled industries in Ukraine, including financial, government and infrastructure.
Looking ahead to 2018
Ransomware and hacks from the Internet of Things are expected to be on the rise for 2018. As more companies attempt to move paper and local files into digital cloud storage, it’s imperative that strict security procedures are in place.
Moving data to digital storage is a trending business practice. Protecting consumer and company data should also be top priorities for businesses. Adjust your IT budget to accommodate the shifting cybersecurity concerns. The payoff from your investment will be immeasurable. Future net worth, consumer trust and positive brand image are all areas that are difficult to monetize.