How a Data Breach Could Negatively Impact You or Your Company’s Future

TruGrid blog image - How a data breach could negatively impact you or your company's future

Although people are becoming more tech-savvy, there remains a big concern among cybersecurity experts about how willingly many share sensitive information about themselves to businesses, and what those businesses are doing to safeguard against possible cybersecurity threats. Businesses that do not take data security seriously are at risk of facing significant consequences, placing their customer data and the future of their business at risk.

Due to nonstop cybersecurity threats, it is imperative that businesses work with security-focused IT service providers that prioritize compliance and security before revenue and expenses. There are many ways data can be breached.

On September 27, 2018, the FBI issued alert number I-092718-PSA strongly indicating “CYBER ACTORS INCREASINGLY EXPLOIT THE REMOTE DESKTOP PROTOCOL TO CONDUCT MALICIOUS ACTIVITY”. In this report, the FBI writes that increasing RDP exploits is partly due to “the rise of dark markets selling RDP Access”. The FBI further states that “Malicious cyber actors have developed methods of identifying and exploiting vulnerable RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) sessions over the Internet to compromise identities, steal login credentials, and ransom other sensitive information” as “Threat actors buy and sell stolen RDP login credentials on the Dark Web”.

Organizations that ignore the FBI report about RDP exploits in particular, and fail to protect against data breaches in general, can face devastating consequences as outlined below…

Increased Costs

According to the 2019 Cost of Data Breach Study from IBM and Ponemon, the average total cost of a data breach was $3.86 million in 2018. This study indicated the costs of a breach are going up, so a data breach may end up costing a company even more in the future. When a business suffers a security breach, it usually means the business will need to shut down the network and some/all of their operations until the source of the breach is detected.  The longer the network is down, the more revenue they will lose.

Additional revenues may also be lost due to reduced trust from customers and partners when these types of incidents occur.

In addition to lost revenue and reduced trust from customers, companies could also get government fines for a data breach. The likelihood of this happening will depend on the country and its regulations and whether the company knowingly violated compliance rules. According to a post in Dataconomy, UK businesses were fined £3.2 million in total in 2016 for not being in compliance with data protection laws.

Reduced Stock Prices

Stock market share prices can be significantly affected by a breach, which in turn could hurt shareholders and adversely change the future of a company. Comparitech does a good job of explaining how a company’s stock market share prices are hurt after a breach. They analyzed two dozen companies on the NYSE and NASDAQ to see how their share prices were impacted. They found the company would generally take an initial hit after a breach but see its price rise in the long-run – albeit at a much slower rate than before the breach. The type of industry is important too when considering how stock prices are affected. Internet companies, for example, were the most hurt by a breach.

Lost Information

Hackers are looking for information they can use to sell to a business’s competitors or expose to the public for free. Both will do a myriad of damage to the business and its ability to compete in its given industry. Trade secrets, customer lists, and other proprietary information in the wrong hands could end up being a much greater loss than fines and outages. Companies could even be exhorted for their own information in some cases. In addition to intellectual property, it’s imperative that employee and customer/partner information are protected when implementing a data protection strategy.

Declining Consumer and Partner Trust

Finally, we have to discuss the trust gap that emerges after a breach. The initial breach is bad enough as it will hinder customer and partner relationships and impact revenue. The biggest drops in customer and partner confidence occur when the business fails to inform affected customers and partners as soon as possible about the breach. If a breach occurs, companies must properly manage the aftermath in order to maintain and fix customer trust.

What can you do protect yourself and your business?

In its “SUGGESTIONS FOR PROTECTION”, the FBI recommends a number of measures to guard against threat of RDP exploits. Companies need to ensure RDP ports are not open, add MFA (multi-factor authentication) to logins, implement dark web monitoring to provide actionable information if any user accounts are compromised or being sold on the dark web. Secure RDP is the only solution on the market to combine everything you need to reduce your exposure and increase data and platform security. TruGrid will eliminate your existing RDP exploit threats. TruGrid’s innovative solution allows secure RDP access through a cloud-shield interface that hides your business network, firewall and RDP servers from view; with mandatory 2FA / MFA for login and built in push authentication. TruGrid Secure RDP also includes integrated Dark Web monitoring so that businesses can take corrective actions when employee credentials are being sold on the Dark Web. TruGrid can be implemented in minutes, requires no long-term contract, and is month to month.

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