The new California Data Breach Notification Bill (SB 24) mandating that holders of data notify consumers when their personal data has been breached went into effect at the beginning of this year.
The bill has been in the works for several years and as the number of exposed personal records continues to climb (currently estimated at about 500 million), the need to implement laws to protect consumers becomes increasingly more important. California is just one of 46 states with security breach notification laws, and the remaining few are sure to follow.
Last year saw at least 558 data breach incidents, costing U.S. businesses more than $6.5 billion. Deeper analysis of these public breaches found the average per business cost was $7.2 million. By now we all know that data breaches can happen in a number of ways: Criminal attacks, system failures or the most common culprit, accidental or intentional misuse of privilege by employees. With employee negligence being the number one cause of data breaches, having the proper privilege identity management tools in place shouldn’t fall into the category of “nice to have.” But if securing the perimeter within as a precaution for protecting data isn’t enough motivation, being faced with the possibility of a $7.2 million loss certainly should be.
By investing in the proper precautions to prevent these breaches from happening in the first place, companies can save themselves a lot of trouble, and money, in the long run.