What is a data breach and why should you worry?

During Cyber Security Awareness Month, our cyber security experts answered the most frequently searched questions on securing digital communications, working safely from home and eliminating the biggest cyber risks. In video and written format. 

Zivver's CIO, Rick Goud answers the following:What is a data breach and why should you worry?

There are many definitions of a data breach. But simply put, a data breach is where sensitive information ends up in the wrong person's hands, and whether it's intended or unintended, that really doesn't matter. And why you should care is because of a variety of reasons;


3 reasons why a data breach should be a reason to worry

To start, you should care because of potential fines stemming from legislations like GDPR in the EU, DPA in the UK, LGPD in Brazil or CCPA in California, and many more. They can give companies fines up to 4% of the global yearly revenue in case of a data breach that is imputable. and that can run up to hundreds of millions, like the 2019 fines for Marriott Hotels and British Airways, which are currently under appeal.

But secondly, and maybe even more important, you should care because of the cost of a data leak. Research of IBM for example, shows that in 2019, the cost of an average data leak was 3,85 million euros. And when we mention 'costs', that is not directly the cost of the fine. The biggest expense is often what comes after the fine. Strengthening security again, the costs of investigating the data breach, notifying the people affected, and so on. 

And as a result of a data breach, many organisations are seeing a sharp decline in turnover. Especially when the data breach itself was not reported by the organisation itself. Damage to reputation will be reflected below the line in the figures, that's guaranteed. Other research even shows that 60% of all small and medium-sized enterprises that had a data breach were no longer in business after three years.

So if that is not enough to worry about, then what is?

Download the 'Safeguard sensitive information while working from home' e-book, to prevent data breaches from happening. 

Cyber Security Awareness - Question and Answer (Q&A)

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Written by

Kevin Lamers

Originally published on October 12, 2020

Last update on January 6, 2021