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Data Security is Everyone’s Responsibility: 17 Stats That Prove It


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    Data is the backbone of your organization, and understanding how your data is shared, stored, and protected is key to success. Every day, employees throughout your organization create, save, share, and store data to do their jobs. Although it’s usually the IT or security team’s job to ensure the entire organization has the right data security and privacy tools in place, it’s everyone’s job to protect sensitive data. Your entire organization should understand the role they play in compliance, preventing a data breach, collaborating securely, and ultimately, protecting your bottom line. After all, human error can cost you… big time.

    Ever sent an email to the wrong person or included an attachment that was for internal eyes only? People make mistakes when sharing data. In fact, 24% of data breaches are caused by human error, which is why data security is everyone’s job. Here’s what you need to know about protecting your organization’s most valuable asset.

    How Often Is Data Shared? 

    Today’s business culture truly revolves around email. For many, it’s the path of least resistance when it comes to quickly sharing information—including sensitive data—with colleagues, partners, vendors, and more. While email allows for quick collaboration and communication, it is not without its risks. 

    • 44% of organizations share data on a continuous basis, 26% share data daily, and another 13% share data every hour. (Virtru)
    • 86% of professionals name email as their preferred means of business communication. (Hubspot)
    • American workers receive an average of 126 emails per day. (Radicati)
    • The average employee sends 40 emails per day for business purposes. (Templafy)
    • 70% of emails sent contain sensitive information. (Virtru)

    Do I Really Need Email Encryption?

    Because of the sheer amount of emails sent daily to do our jobs, many organizations determine that additional protection and control measures are needed to ensure privacy and compliance, especially as increasing volumes of sensitive data are stored and shared via email. Without end-to-end encryption, your organization is at increased risk of a breach.

    • To date in 2020, there have been 3,950 recorded breaches (an incident that results in the confirmed disclosure—not just potential exposure—of data to an unauthorized party). (Verizon)
    • In 2020, there have been 32,000 security incidents (a security event that compromises the integrity, confidentiality, or availability of an information asset). (Verizon)
    • 53% of organizations have over 1,000 sensitive files open to every employee. (Varonis)
    • On average, every employee has access to 17 million files. (Varonis)
    • Only 5% of a company’s folders are protected. (Varonis)
    • 68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing. (Accenture)
    • 34% of breaches involve internal actors. (Verizon)

    How Much Does a Data Breach Cost? 

    Without end-to-end email encryption, your organization isn’t set up for success and you’re missing the full potential of seamless collaboration. The risks and costs of not securing your organization’s most sensitive data are more critical than ever as stricter privacy legislation passes in regions around the world.

    • The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 Million. (IBM)
    • The average cost per lost/stolen record is $150. (IBM)
    • An organization’s share prices fall 7.27% on average after a breach. (Comparitech)
    • In the event of a breach, the average cost of lost business is $1.42 Million. (IBM)
    • 70% of business leaders agree that a largely remote workforce will increase the cost of a data breach. (IBM)

    Data Security Is Everyone’s Responsibility

    The important thing to recognize from a data protection and breach prevention standpoint is that data security is everyone’s responsibility. It is critical that everyone in your organization—from executives to individual contributors—understand both the significance of protecting sensitive data and how to do it. While IT and security teams are tasked with improving the organization’s security posture, all employees should be bought into the concept of data security and privacy, and be trained on how to use all new technology, solutions, and platforms. 

    Remember, sharing sensitive data is critical to success, but you don’t have to compromise between best-in-class data protection and overall ease of use. If, like a majority of organizations, you depend on email to share data, note that an additional layer of protection is necessary to collaborate with confidence, maintain visibility and control, and unlock the power of your data to drive the business forward. 

    To learn more about how Virtru can provide your organization with flexible, easy-to-use, and trusted privacy technologies that govern access to data throughout its full lifecycle, contact us today. 

    Editorial Team

    Editorial Team

    The editorial team consists of Virtru brand experts, content editors, and vetted field authorities. We ensure quality, accuracy, and integrity through robust editorial oversight, review, and optimization of content from trusted sources, including use of generative AI tools.

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