Five Cyber Risks That Can Sink Your Business

19114293What’s as commonplace as your mobile habit and bankrupts businesses every day of the week?

Cyber threats.

Once confined to sci-fi movie plots, cyber crime is now an everyday occurrence, crippling businesses of every size and industry.

How big is the problem? Huge.

Cyber crime now ranks as the number one security threat in the U.S., ahead of terrorism and stockpiled nuclear arms, according to a report by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence. From a financial standpoint, a recent study by the Ponemon Institute revealed data breaches cost businesses an average of $154 per lost or stolen record containing confidential info. Leak 650 of those records, and you could be looking at a six-figure price tag.

And while 83% of IT leaders view cyber attacks as one of the top three threats looming over their organization today, only 38% are prepared to deal with one, as reported by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

Recently, the U.S. Senate approved a bill that would lead to the adoption of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), designed to encourage businesses and government agencies to share information about cyber attacks. As expected, CISA has its share of both supporters and opponents. Yet, the general consensus among security experts is that organizations aren’t moving at a pace that will keep them ahead of attackers.

Meanwhile, multiple studies confirm what we already know: most IT leaders are uneasy about cybersecurity risks and the potential destruction that follows, but feel unequipped to deal with a major data breach scenario.

To that end, experts and government officials urge businesses to address five common oversights that open the door to data breaches:

  1. Allowing contractors and third parties to bypass security processes.
  2. Moving too slowly to develop a mobile security plan.
  3. Failing to regularly assess cyber threats.
  4. Neglecting to develop strong security measures to minimize risks internally (stemming from employees, whether intentional or accidental).
  5. Inadequate employee training on good cybersecurity processes.

With hackers aggressively targeting businesses and employees unwittingly putting data at risk, it’s important to be aggressive in countering those threats, says FBI Director James Comey. “The bad guys are moving at [incredible] speed,” he cautioned in an interview with CBS News. “We have to get better.”

For more information about the current state of cybersecurity and predictions for the coming months and years, we invite you to access “The State of Cybersecurity in 2015” infographic online .


Rich Banta is managing member at Lifeline Data Centers in Indianapolis.