Why Prevention is More Important Than Recovery in Data Security

Risk Management
December 21, 2021

Why Prevention is More Important Than Recovery in Data Security

In today’s climate, companies are investing in cybersecurity measures more than ever. Their ultimate objective is to detect, respond, recover, and protect their proprietary and customer data. Without an endless supply of resources, managers face challenging information technology (IT) budgeting decisions.

Too many businesses are willing to forfeit the long-term gain for short-term benefit in the arena of cybersecurity prevention. However, this decision is one that they could come to regret during the throws of an active breach. Although no barrier is entirely effective, your company could face civil damages for negligence after a violation if you did not perform your due diligence.

Regardless of where your company is starting, assume that a breach will happen at some point. Reassure your stakeholders that you can weather the storm by having a solid prevention plan in place. Below, the AccountableHQ team outlined the costs associated with prevention versus recovery and helpful tips for maximizing your cybersecurity efforts.

Recovery Is More Expensive Than Prevention

The benefit of investing in prevention far outweighs the cost of recovery. For example, in a recent study by Deep Instinct, the average cost of containing a phishing attack is $832,000. Since cybersecurity prevents security breaches from happening, allocating sufficient room for recovery in your budget is a wise choice.

Let’s take a side-by-side look at prevention versus recovery costs:

Prevention Costs

Information security initiates prevention tactics by first auditing your current systems. They will use this information to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. An audit is necessary, but there is a cost for performing one and carrying out the audit’s recommendations. Customers of Accountable are able to access our security risk assessment with any of our plans. 

Factors that influence prevention costs include:

  • Access management vulnerabilities
  • Endpoint protection results
  • Insecure data storage methods
  • Network security failures
  • Number of vulnerability points
  • Ongoing service and maintenance costs
  • On-site support deployment
  • Other relevant factors

The amount that your company budgets for prevention also depends upon your size, location, and industry. A robust cybersecurity budget should generally account for 9 to 14 percent of your overall information technology (IT) budget.

Recovery Costs

Your recovery costs will also vary according to your situation. This amount is hard to establish since every company is different. However, the Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021 by the Ponemon Institute revealed that the average cost is $4.24 million, including recovery efforts.

Several tangible and intangible factors influence recovery costs, including:

  • Brand and reputation losses
  • Business disruptions
  • Civil damages
  • Customer retention losses
  • Direct financial costs
  • Legal fees and costs
  • Type of breach
  • And more

A cybersecurity incident is far too expensive for many companies to survive. Many threat actors across the globe are driven to steal your customer’s information making it important for companies to do their due diligence and invest in prevention costs before it is too late.

Six Tips for Strengthening Data Security and Breach Prevention

We cannot underscore how important it is to consider the potential of a data breach happening. It is not a matter of if but when. Instead of leaving your company exposed to an expensive breach, ensure that you take every reasonable step to prevent one from happening in the first place. Doing so could save you millions of dollars in the future.

Here are a few tips that you can follow to strengthen your breach prevention and data security practices:

1. Restrict Access to Unsecure Websites

Web filters are simple, cost-effective ways to protect your internal systems. You can use a web filter to detect and prevent employees from accessing websites with malicious code. It can also block social media and other objectionable content, which can increase employee productivity.

2. Take Advantage of Multi-Factor Authentication

Guard your company passwords with your life and make them unique enough so that they are challenging to crack. You should also have your IT administrator enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) protocols to enhance your network security efforts. Another highly recommended practice is to regularly have your team update their passwords every 30 to 90 days.

3. Monitor Network Activity Daily

Employee monitoring is an essential part of cybersecurity prevention. You cannot assign a manager to sit with employees at their desks all day, so take advantage of modern IT tools to help you catch specific activities, such as unsafe internet activity or suspicious behavior.

4. Leverage the Power of Data Minimization

Data minimization is a philosophy that states your company should only collect and store the data it needs for business purposes and no more than that. While capturing as much consumer information as possible may be tempting, your system has memory and processing limitations. Consider archiving data off-site that you no longer need.

5. Encrypt Sensitive Information

Data encryption is an essential and effective cybersecurity measure. It can prevent breaches by rendering the stolen data unusable by hackers. Since they need a decryption key to unlock it, decrypting your encrypted system would take a considerable amount of time and resources.

6. Address Physical Security Issues

Cybersecurity prevention efforts do not stop at your network’s door. Some of your most significant security issues lie within the physical world. Hackers and thieves could steal laptops, USB drives, documents with passwords written on them, and unencrypted data.

Implement policies for office information security. You can also prevent a physical breach from occurring by using keyless entry systems. A cybersecurity budget may not allow for all the “bells and whistles,” which is why you should audit your existing system and identify prominent and potential threats.

Final Thoughts and Considerations

Elevating your company’s prevention strategy is no small task. However, a cybersecurity professional can offer you advice and insight regarding your existing program. They can also show you how to take the next steps toward best practices and resources that ensure your customers and networks stay safe.

Prevention costs are an essential budget item, and they can save you millions of dollars by protecting your company beforehand. Take the time to speak with the Accountable HQ team today to help you learn more about your business’ prevention opportunities and managing the many types of risk that companies face.

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