Data breaches: Uncovering the known and the unknown

Imagine trusting a company enough to give them access to your personal information, only to find out it was compromised during a data breach. Do you know where your information goes once it has been breached? Are you educated on how to protect yourself or your organization from cybercriminals? If the answer is no, you’re reading the right article.

We know that data breaches are dangerous, but just how harmful or expensive can they be? Simply put, data breaches have the power to take down an entire organization and its surrounding community. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average total cost of a data breach in the United States in 2020 was $8.64 million. As a result, this means that not only is your sensitive information at stake, but capital, company investments, and budgets are vulnerable as well.

In this article, we will uncover the reality behind data breaches. We will gain a deeper understanding of what happens after a breach occurs, prevention, and the vital role cybersecurity plays in all of this.

The Ripple Effects of a Breach

When a company is breached, it can result in fines, lawsuits, and brand reputation loss with customers, partners, and employees. In 2019, an estimated 15 billion personal records were lost, and by the beginning of Q4 of 2020, an estimated 36 billion were compromised. These breaches include information like first/last name, address, phone number, usernames, passwords, etc. Even answers to many knowledge-based authentication (KBA) questions have been compromised. (e.g., what was the make and model of your first car?). Because so many different companies rely on this type of data to identify their customers, a single breach can have widespread ramifications for companies that were not breached.


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