Companies Spend More On Security Breaches

from Challenger Gray and Christmas

From search engines to social media, every website seems to be collecting user data en masse, and once this data is collected, companies are facing more and more regulations on how they can share or store this data, potentially creating opportunities for workers in this field.

Data privacy is troubling most Americans. According to a survey conducted by AnchorFree, 95 percent of Americans are concerned about what companies may be doing with their data without permission. Greater than half are looking for ways to secure their information, as more Americans utilize e-commerce and social media sites.

Said John Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.:

Data privacy is becoming one of the top concerns for consumers and businesses alike. Companies are feeling the pressure from not only customers and clients, but also employees to protect sensitive personal data being collected.

This process can be expensive, as companies cover the cost of implementing privacy policies, complying with federal and state regulations, and notifying employees or customers in the event of a breach.

According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a security breach to a company in 2015 was $3.79 million. This is up from $3.52 million in 2014. These costs include government penalties, cost of compliance and notification, and credit monitoring for victims.

Because online data collection is a relatively new issue, the laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Under the Obama administration, it seemed as though the federal government was going to protect data using the FCC Broadband Privacy Rule, which would make it more inconvenient for companies to distribute user information. However, in the past month, the Trump administration shut down these regulations before they were even rolled out to the public.

Adds Challenger:

Federal law protects health, financial, children, and student data. However, many states do not have basic privacy protection, such as a breach notification statute that would force companies to alert customers when their data has been compromised. In other cases, states have more far-reaching laws than the federal government, such as in California, which leads the way in data privacy regulation.
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