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A million reasons why you should secure your data

By Stephen Dane, Managing Director for Security, Asia Pacific & Japan, Cisco
 
Data is often categorized as the “new currency” that offers differentiated value and a new source of revenue in today’s digital era. However, many companies and consumers in Asia and across the globe are still somewhat complacent when it comes to protecting their data.
 
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is making global headlines and setting significant new rules around protecting customer data and privacy for companies. GDPR will also affect Asia Pacific companies that either have a European business presence or sells and collects data from EU residents.
 
Assessing the cost of data breaches can also be challenging for companies due to the lack of transparent reporting. The fiscal impact of such breaches depends on how many records are lost in the breach, and what percentage of the customer base has churned after the breach. According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study and based on surveys conducted, analysts estimate that the average total organisational cost of a data breach in 2016 was $2.36 million (RM9.51 million) for ASEAN alone.
 
The largest component of this cost was detection and escalation, which accounted for 41 percent of the total cost while lost business accounted for 30 percent. The average cost ranges from $1.8 million (RM7.25 million) for less than 10,000 records to $3.4 million (RM 13.70 million) for more than 50,000 records. According to the Cybersecurity in ASEAN: An Urgent Call to Action report by Cisco and A.T. Kearney – extrapolating the data for the top 1,000 listed companies suggests a cumulative exposure for the region of $180 billion (RM 725 million) to $365 billion (RM1,470 billion) in the period from 2017 to 2025.
 
On top of keeping the organisation secure from cyberattacks, the continued challenge for security and IT teams is to keep exploding amounts of data safe. 76 percent of the security team’s time is spent on securing the data center (as this is where the money is at for attackers).
Cisco offers an integrated architectural approach to cybersecurity by helping teams secure their organizations more effectively from the network to the endpoint to the cloud. Recently, Cisco released a new approach to secure the modern data centre that provides business outcomes such as stopping threats at the Edge, controlling who gets on the Network, simplifying network segmentation, and finding and containing problems fast.
 
Data privacy has been in the spotlight in the past year, with individual consumers concerned by how much data is collected by social media giants. Concerns over the visibility that third parties and advertisers have, as well as the lack of control users have over the data collected, has gained interest especially following the recent news that data firm Cambridge Analytica gained unauthorized access to up to 87 million Facebook users' data.
 
Companies, security and IT teams, as well as consumers, will no doubt continue to be impacted by data and privacy protection. There is no denying that data is the new currency – and with the cost of data breaches in the ASEAN region predicted to spike to millions and even billions of dollars – there’s never been a better time to secure your data.

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