Data is the lifeblood of any company. Data loss prevention is a strategy for making sure that end users do not send sensitive or critical information outside the corporate network. While nobody wants confidential data – like client projects and employee details – to be at risk, businesses using cloud computing face new security threats. The many moving parts that make a cloud environment don’t always fit together, and unsecured mobility devices provide opportunity for attacks and mobile malware. Data loss prevention strategies allow you to minimise the risk of your IT systems being compromised. Unfortunately, most companies don’t recognise the major impact of not having data loss prevention strategies and aren’t confident in their ability to recover after a disruption. Risks of Unsecured Data Here’s an idea of just how risky it is to not have data loss prevention strategies in place. 1. Loss of Clients Any client data stored incorrectly can lead to it being stolen, and losing a client can cost your business in severe ways and detrimentally affect your bottom line. For business-to-business (B2B) companies, the fallout can be damaging. In 2014, Createthe Group (CTG), an e-commerce solutions company that served the likes of Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, and Louis Vuitton, had security breaches to their platform which compromised the credit card numbers used by the brands CTG represented. CTG ultimately exited the e-commerce space altogether. 2. Financial Losses While loss of clients are one factor to financial losses, the costs involved in assessing the breech and its impact on the company’s systems and data, alongside determining and implementing the necessary solutions are paramount. In some cases, further costs are attributed to employee and attorney interfacing with third parties or clients to manage any reputational damage that may have occurred. In 2014, data loss and downtime affected 64% of Australian enterprises, with 44% affect by a revenue hit, contributing to over $65.5 billion nationally. 3. Regulatory & Legal Repercussions Currently, government legislation largely ignores B2B security breaches by comparison to business to consumer regulations. Nonetheless, B2B contracts are typically explicit about risk and data loss prevention. If the breach has impacted your customers' customers, your contract may require you to pay the legal fees your customers incur related to notifying their customers. 4. Competitive Position Industrial cyber espionage is prominent in the B2B marketplace where confidential information can change the balance of power. There is a huge risk of other companies – be it competitors or organisations in the process of establishing legitimate partnerships - paying hackers to break into your company’s IT systems to gather competitive information to gain an advantage in the marketplace or at the bargaining table. 5. Damaged Company Reputation Often, while B2B company security breaches are less likely to be reported in the press, the company reputation for existing clients is still irrevocably damaged. For the likes of CTG, the security breach having compromised the credit card numbers belonging to customers of the various brands CTG represented was enough for a high-profile report of the breach. Is Your Business A Prime Target? Large companies that have a wealth of valuable information and hard-won business reputations are obvious targets for a vast array of different types of cyber-attacks, including cyber espionage, and security breaches. Service providers are a popular stepping stone for attacks on other organisations such as your clients. Further, a false sense of security and an overly relaxed attitude towards protecting your systems and data can make it even easier for hackers and cyber-spies to launch their attacks. Data Loss Prevention Strategies Clearly, it is best to do everything you can to avoid the risk of data loss. Ask yourself: • Have we checked our cloud protection recently? The best way to manage your cloud data is constant vigilance. • Are all our stakeholders aware of the IT security policy and their responsibilities? Each employee and stakeholder should look out for potential security issues they face. • What are the data sources, flow and destination we use? Identifying the cloud services in use and type of data transferred is important to understanding the potential security risks. • Are we using the right tools to monitor our cloud security? Tools that can scan the content for sensitive data can stop the data transfer and report the incident. • Does our DLP strategy provide visibility for upper management and main stakeholders? This can make them aware of the implications of the use of cloud services and applications and influence them to think of security issues before they occur. • Bottom line: Is our cloud truly as secure as we think it is? Cloud computing is a powerful platform, but you don’t need to have cloudier days due to data loss. To have the best cloud data loss prevention strategy for your company, find out about cloud database security. Download our Cloud Security Whitepaper Vita Enterprise Solutions offer a range of services that can manage your data loss prevention strategy. Enquire online today or call 1300 139 310.