How vulnerable are you to a cybersecurity attack?

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You’ve heard story after story of data breaches and the fallout of those attacks, but when’s the last time you took a hard look at your own cybersecurity? 

Keeping your data safe is no longer a matter of just having a strong firewall or informal screenings. Effective cybersecurity means having a strategy that is consistently tested and managed. 

CDW Canada recently released its 2021 study assessing the state of cybersecurity in the country. The study, titled Innovation in Cybersecurity: Approach, Tools and Technologies reveals the vulnerabilities that businesses in Canada face, and the costs associated with a data breach. 

And the numbers speak for themselves. 

The average cost of a security breach — both direct and indirect — ranges from $7 million to $8.7 million. Depending on the type of attack, the costs differ, but the effect on your business is significant across the board. 

And a security breach does more than just hurt your wallet. It hurts your reputation. 

A breach of trust can have much longer-lasting consequences when it comes to customer acquisition and retention. 

So how do you keep your data safe? It starts with performing regular penetration testing. 

CDW’s study found that 57 percent of businesses either have informal processes when it comes to testing their security, or don’t scan for vulnerabilities at all. Cybersecurity is constantly shifting, and without testing your framework, there are bound to be weak points. 

Take it from Darth Vader. A single exhaust port can be all it takes to blow up the Death Star. 

This is a critical time for businesses as they modernize, adopting new models such as working remotely. 

But this doesn’t have to be a weakness. In fact, adopting a multilayered approach to security with the cloud can decrease an organization’s risk of infiltration and exfiltration attacks. 

Understanding how to effectively use the cloud resources and take advantage of its security benefits is key to preventing breaches. The study found that many companies are not using the shared responsibility model. 

Simply handing responsibility for your data over to a cloud-service provider can lead to security gaps. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) largely leaves security responsibility to the cloud user, whereas FaaS (Function as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) provide protection for everything from client endpoint protection to network controls. 

Education is essential. Knowing cloud providers and the cybersecurity tools offered leads to the shared responsibility model, leading to a multilayer security approach, drastically reducing the chance of a data breach 

But there’s also an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. 

Third parties. 

More than three quarters of the companies surveyed for the study have experienced a security breach as a result of third-party partners’ poor security practices. 

Think about that: 76 percent of all companies surveyed were vulnerable due to others. Even if you’re careful, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. 

Reviewing your partners’ security is as essential as your internal practices. It’s a task that requires time, resources, and careful consideration of your user experience and workflow. 

So what does all of this mean? 

Everyone from small businesses to major corporations needs to be considering their security to avoid costly data breaches. 

And this is just the tip of the security iceberg. CDW’s study provides insights on enabling zero-trust frameworks, enabling AI and Machine Learning, and much more. 

It may sound intimidating, but through education, time, and resources, you can protect yourself and your company from data breaches. 

You can download CDW Canada’s study for free: cdw.ca/securitystudy

Sponsored by CDW Canada 

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