Data breaches are a major growing threat, especially with the rapid digitalisation and adoption of remote workplaces around the world. No organisation is completely immune to cyber breaches, and companies of any industry and size can become the targets of cybercriminals.

Not only are data breaches disruptive, but they are also highly costly. According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach 2021 Report, the average cost of a data breach has risen by 10% worldwide from 2020 to 2021. In the ASEAN region, a data breach incident in 2021 costs an average of US$2.71 million. As for Singapore, cybercrimes accounted for 43% of overall crime in 2020, a clear sign of the significant threat posed by data breaches and other cybersecurity challenges.

What Constitutes a Cyber Breach?

A cyber breach is a security incident whereby information is accessed by an unauthorised individual. This information is often sensitive and highly confidential, such as customer and employee data, financial and business information, internal emails and intellectual property. Research shows that compromised credentials is the most common attack vector, accounting for 20% of data breaches worldwide. Other prevalent causes include accidental data loss, phishing attacks, insider threats and improper configurations.  

What Are the Costs of a Data Breach?

1. Cyber Incident Response & Remediation

The actions taken by a company to detect and respond to a cyber attack are a contributing factor to data breach costs. These include forensic activities, assessment and remediation, which can be performed in-house or by engaging trusted cybersecurity service providers.  

2. Legal & Non-Compliance Penalty Fees

The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) issues heavy fines for breaches of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). When a PDPA breach occurs, companies often need to engage legal counsel for litigation and investigative services. 

3. Loss of Revenue

It takes an average of 287 days for an organisation to uncover and contain a data breach. Without a robust cyber breach plan in place, operational downtime from data breaches, which results in lowered employee productivity and revenue loss. 

4. Damaged Reputation and Loss of Customer Trust

The majority of data breach costs is attributed to lost business. More often than not, this results from customers losing their trust in a company and switching to another competitors. As the acquisition of new clients slows down, additional costs may also be incurred to acquire new business. Employees may also potentially seek employment elsewhere if the company’s reputation is tarnished significantly. 

How Investing in Cybersecurity Now Can Save You Money

Like our physical and mental health, prevention is better than cure when it comes to cybersecurity. A proactive defence against cyber attacks builds your organisation’s cyber resiliency and readiness in managing a potential data breach. 

1. Robust Cybersecurity Governance

Taking the necessary steps to review technical controls, policies and procedures ensure your organisation remains compliant with applicable regulatory guidelines such as the PDPA and the MAS Technology Risk Management (TRM) guidelines. Getting certified for international standards like ISO 27001, 27017 and 27018 also provides customers with peace of mind and cultivates trust that their information is well-protected in your organisation’s hands. 

2. Cyber Risk Management

Regular vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT) enable you to identify security gaps and mitigate vulnerabilities before cyber attackers have the chance to strike. Your company can also consider improving employee security awareness by conducting internal training to share protocols, procedures and best practices. 

3. 24x7 Cybersecurity Operations

Robust cybersecurity operations such as proactive monitoring and advanced threat detection help contain and remediate cyber threats promptly. Managed PDR, which stands for Managed Protection, Detection, Remediation and Response, provides real-time monitoring and advanced threat detection on endpoints, servers, emails and mobile devices, regardless of user’s location. When a threat is detected, CSIntelligence’s Managed PDR concurrently performs mitigation actions to remediate the threat.
A robust and proactive stance is vital to building cyber resiliency and managing data breaches. Contact CSIntelligence today to learn how you can secure your organisation through robust cybersecurity governance, management and operations.

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