How business continuity teams can reduce the impact of data breaches

How business continuity teams can reduce the impact of data...Data breaches can have a devastating impact on companies, but new research shows that involving business continuity management teams at the preventative stage can help reduce the cost of any breaches – and, perhaps more importantly, even lower the risk of such breaches occurring.


This conclusion was presented in the 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study: Impact of Business Continuity Management, which was sponsored by IBM and conducted by the Ponemon Institute. Having been recording the cost of data breaches for a decade, the latter also began assessing such costs specifically in conjunction with the involvement of business continuity management (BCM) last year.

Reduce the likelihood of a breach

So, how are this year’s findings insightful for businesses? The data clearly indicated a correlation between the involvement of BCM in the breach prevention and recovery planning stages and the reduced likelihood of a breach.


In fact, it showed that a company that has no BCM involvement with data security has a 27.9 per cent likelihood of suffering a data breach hitting 10,000 or more records; an organisation that does involve BCM has just a 21.1 per cent chance of a breach of the same scale.


Interestingly, the study also revealed that BCM is important in mitigating the impact of a breach. Some 55 per cent of companies that involve BCM in this area will have their business operations negatively affected by a breach – but this climbs to 80 per cent for organisations with zero involvement.

React faster to breaches

Data breaches can do a lot of damage in very little time, which makes swift responses crucial. The study found that BCM can play a key role in enhancing a business’s reaction times, both in terms of actually identifying the breach and its subsequent containment.


Involving BCM can cut the mean time to identify a data breach from 234 days to 178, and the mean time to contain it from 83 to 55. So, incorporating business continuity into data security planning can make a significant impact on how fast an organisation recovers in the event of a problem.

Reduce costs

Additionally, the report identified cost benefits to BCM involvement in data breach planning. Per record, the average breach cost $161, but a BCM presence reduces this to $147. Of course, data breaches typically affect hundreds if not thousands of records, which means that overall BCM can create sizeable savings in the event of a security issue.

How can BCM help?

Cyber security is now crucial to virtually all businesses, but it is an area in which BCM is still often absent. By incorporating BCM in the data breach planning stages and allowing BCM teams to work with security, companies can assess the risk of such a breach occurring, identify weak spots in the system and thus also potential areas of improvement. Furthermore, BCM can help plan a faster recovery from any breaches that do occur – and when breaches come at such a high cost, dealing with them as swiftly as possible is key.


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