Data Breaches and the Importance of Cybersecurity

Not long ago, a hack that exposed several thousand people’s data may have been huge news. Now, breaches that concern millions or even billions of individuals are all too normal. Around 3.5 billion individuals had their personal details compromised in the top two of this century’s largest attacks. The smallest occurrence contained data from a mere 134 million individuals.

Hacker shoot

Security and Data Breaches

A security breach is any event requiring unauthorised access to computer files, software, networks or devices. It results in information being accessed without authorisation. This is most likely to occur when an intruder is able to break in and gain access, bypassing the security mechanisms that are in place.

There is however a difference between a security breach and a data breach. A security breach is essentially a break-in, while a data breach is defined as the cybercriminal getting away with sensitive information. In the case of a burglar, the security breach would be him climbing through the window, while a data breach would be him escaping with your pocketbook or laptop.

The Unfortunate Consequences

Confidential information has tremendous importance, and is often marketed on the dark web; names and credit card numbers may be purchased and later used for identity theft or fraud. Not unexpectedly, data breaches will cost businesses massive sums of money. The bill averages about R59m for large corporations.

Cybersecurity danger is growing, powered by global networking and cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services to store confidential data and personal details. Widespread weak setup of cloud providers coupled with highly advanced cybercriminals means the risk that your organisation suffers from a successful cyber-attack or data breach is on the rise.

Taking the Necessary Measures

Cybersecurity is critical since it includes anything relating to securing our confidential data, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Secure Health Information (PHI), Personal Information, Intellectual Property, data, and governmental and industry information systems from fraud and harm attempted by criminals and adversaries.

The days of basic firewalls and antivirus software being your sole security measure are gone. Corporate leaders can no longer afford to overlook cybersecurity as a top priority.

If you are not yet concerned about cybersecurity, you should be!