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Report: Majority of businesses experienced a data breach in 2013

Businesses fail to fully invest in cyber security.
Businesses fail to fully invest in cyber security.

The use of technology continues to grow in the United States and around the world, but it appears that businesses continue to not provide an adequate amount of cyber protection to their systems. Without the proper safeguards in place, companies are putting their own information at risk, as well as their customer's personal data.

Even though the concept of technology is not new nor the threat of data breaches, cyber attacks are happening to businesses of all sizes. Whether it be Target, American Express or a mom-and-pop restaurant, every organization is at risk if they decide to do nothing at all, according to a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the U.S. Secret Service, CSO Magazine and the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2013, 77 percent of businesses experienced a data breach within the past 12 months, with nearly two-thirds of participants unable to calculate the financial cost and impact of the incident(s). Attention to cyber security has grown in recent months, but CSO Magazine's publisher Bob Bragdon believes that there's a lot more inaction than progress.

"Things continue to get worse despite the investment in people, processes and technologies to counter cyber threats," Bragdon explained.  "Cybersecurity for disruptive technologies remains inadequate when considering Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), cloud, Software Defined Networking (SDN) are always put it in place first and then secured later."

It is also important to keep in mind that installing a firewall or anti-virus software is not enough to keep criminals and hackers from compromising an organization's system. If such an event occurs, business owners should have a post-attack plan in place, so customers are kept in the loop during this difficult time. There are business continuity consultants who specialize in these services, giving organizations the upper-hand during a time it seems like many don't have it.