Across the world, the number of document security attacks on enterprises and businesses are averaging approximately 118,000 everyday, while the severity and frequency of these attacks are continuing to escalate. A large number of these attacks can be effectively prevented thus preventing substantial damages. It is time to look at data and document security solutions and specific remedies in preventing such attacks.
The repercussions of a security breach are reverberated throughout the organization, especially in top management, and almost instantaneously. Almost immediately, revenue streams attached to intellectual property within document content reduces and can disappear entirely. In some cases, where classified consumer data has been compromised, the reputation of the company and the brand is greatly impacted while a high customer turnover can take place almost right away, which are usually the direct and indirect consequences of a security incident.
In addition, the bottom line is also severely impacted. Sensitive intellectual assets can be misplaced forever, and in some highly unfortunate cases they can be even sold and replicated by rival organizations, thus requiring immediate intervention of legal and investigation services. Capital expenditures incurred to reinvest in basic systems in order to correct the security incident, in addition to marketing and PR activities to rectify and renovate the company’s sales channels, reputation and brand can substantially impact the productivity of the organization for years to come.
Hence, it is important for businesses and organizations to understand why such incidents take place at all. If an organization has experienced a document security breach, it will be well aware of the consequences in terms of revenue loss and a downturn in customer loyalty. If an organization has not yet experienced such an unfortunate incident and is concerned about the protection and safeguard of the organization’s data, it is important to look into this business case in order to begin implementing a robust document protection solution immediately!
Digital data can be easily replicated or transmitted to unauthorized sources in a matter of seconds. Most organizations believe that a document security breach is unlikely to happen to them. In fact, it probably would have taken place to some degree. Tiny felonies, content piracy and copyright infringements take place 99% of the time and in most cases the impact is miniscule. But the likely loss from a massive data security breach can be highly significant, and for most organizations that risk intensifies with the amount of data accumulated and communicated.
The correct way to counter a document security breach is to ensure that a pro-active document security solution is implemented and correctly monitored. It is highly critical that an organization carries out a robust content security solution which can help in securing data from internal and external hazards. The solution including document level protection can also ensure that information is protected when it is shared outside the protected network, onto various mobile devices thus ensuring that classified information is safeguarded and protected throughout its journey.
The recent cyber-attack on Sony Pictures that was recently in the news has had a colossal cost fallout, which has been akin to a financial bomb go off within the media company. Although the losses are still to be finalized, estimations of the shocks are likely to run in billions as it has been considered to be the boldest and biggest security breach in history until now. Not just e-mails and information was obtained from the network, but unprotected documents of all kinds were taken, including classified engagements with talent, employee remunerations, and benefit data as well as private information such as coordinates and addresses. It is believed that the entire impact of the security breach will take years to be determined, while the company has yet to identify the culprit. However, the fact remains that large organizations with monumental security budgets and infrastructure are still susceptible, no matter the size and popularity of the company. In short, all organizations, small, large and medium would benefit from some form of data security.
According to a study conducted in the year 2014–Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis, it was seen that the average cost of each misplaced or stolen file was approximately $140, while the average cost of a data security breach was approximately $3 million. Most organizations, and not just the large multinational corporations, need to start taking the real dangers of their content security extremely earnestly. Hackers specifically go after classified and sensitive data contained in documents that are unguarded, in transmission, synced to various mobile applications, stored on mobile devices and shared between two parties through an online medium through numerous vulnerability probes and recon activities. Businesses that have not yet deployed multi-layered data security technologies and solutions with less than required robust administration are highly at risk of a security breach.
To understand how much a security breach would cost an organization, here is a breakdown of the costs:
- Immediate exit of consumers and/or profit
- Loss of patents, trademarks or copyrights, digital assets, or confidential information
- Investigatory and research (forensic) services charges and bills
- Judicial fees (lawsuits, counter-lawsuits, class-action)
- Infrastructure restoration, maintenance and enhancements
- PR communication charges- damage limitations
- Marketing – reconstructing brand repute, faith of the employees/consumers and sales channels
A document security solution is a competitive differentiators. Data protection is not just an aesthetic facade when presenting an organization’s business case but a crucial factor that consumers, shareholders and partners consider when justifying purchasing from or partnering with the organization. With growing incidences of document security breaches and data hacking becoming more prevalent, impactful and advanced, now is the right opportunity for the organization to present a strong business case for robust document level security. The organization can also push for document/content protection to be the topmost priority as a revenue projector and profit generator before top management.
It is important for an organization to realize that protecting organizational documents and safeguarding classified content is a matter of corporate value. Hence, corporate value should not be taken for granted or compromised as it can lead to a catastrophic effect on the bottom line, reputation and competitive advantage of the company.