Is Remote Working Increasing the Cost of a Data Breach?

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the move by countless individuals to work remotely, IT security experts have raised the caution flag about the impact it would have on cybersecurity and network protection. The big question was: Would remote working reduce the ability of a business to identify and remove security threats?

Obviously, most organizations did not have a choice as remote work was the only way to keep their businesses going. Government mandates across the United States urged everyone to telecommute. Most organizations complied without regard to the effect it would have on their network security and many are still working remotely without having delved into these considerations.

What Did Data Breach Cost in 2020?

Each year, IBM submits a report outlining the “cost of a data breach.” The 2020 release revealed that when most employees work from their private computers, the expense of data breaches went up by $104,000. While this seems to be only a small increase in the general expense of data breaches, that is in addition to the “normal” $3.9 million in the United States annually.

Further details in the report showed that the average expense of a data breach for each compromised record was $115. This will give you an idea of how much a data breach could cost your business, depending on the type of data and the number of records you store.

How Remote Working Influences the Expense of a Data Breach

Clearly, the risks of a remote working staff would increase the likelihood and the expense of a data breach. One reason is, without staff working on office premises, it is a lot more difficult to spot when a data breach is occurring as oftentimes anomalies are chalked up as normal glitches relating to being on Wi-fi or VPN.

There is a relationship between the time it takes to react to a breach and its resulting expense. The IBM report determined that the average time it takes to recognize an incident without enhanced network security is 280 days.

The cost to a business is not limited to just the time period before a breach is discovered. It is estimated that 39% of the expenses from a data breach are not even realized as they are hard to quantify such as loss of clients, administrative penalties, and/or loss of productivity.

How to Decease the Expense of a Data Breach

Businesses will recover from a data breach if they deploy automated software to recognize the breach and other dubious conduct. This software utilizes computerized reasoning and investigation in real-time and could save as much as $2.68 million in data breach costs nationwide annually if all companies took advantage of it.

An average business does not typically have the capacity to recognize cybersecurity incidents and react to them speedily. This reaction time is the difference between a minor interruption and an absolute fiasco resulting in chaos. Here are some specific steps you can take to decrease the expense of a data breach:

  1. Assess the risk: Start by identifying the data that your business collects, processes, and stores, and determine the potential impact of a breach on your business. This will help you understand what security measures you need to take.
  2. Train employees: Ensure that all employees are trained on basic cybersecurity practices, such as using strong passwords, avoiding phishing scams, and reporting suspicious activity.
  3. Implement security measures: Implement security measures such as firewalls, encryption, and multi-factor authentication to protect your business’s sensitive data.
  4. Backup your data: Regularly backup your data, and store it off-site or in the cloud. This will ensure that you can quickly recover from a data breach without incurring significant data loss.
  5. Develop an incident response plan: Develop a plan that outlines the steps you will take in the event of a data breach. This plan should include how you will notify customers and regulators, as well as how you will mitigate the damage caused by the breach.
  6. Purchase cybersecurity insurance: Consider purchasing cybersecurity insurance, which can help cover the costs associated with a data breach.
  7. Monitor your systems: Regularly monitor your systems for suspicious activity, and respond quickly to any signs of a breach.

By following these steps, small businesses can decrease the expense of a data breach and better protect themselves against cyber threats, especially when working remotely.


The change to remote working requires a fresh review of the greatest risk your company will ever have. But it does not have to be. New technologies are available and affordable for all businesses, and now is the time to understand what those technologies do and how they can protect you in our “new normal” working environments.

For a free cybersecurity assessment, contact us. CMIT Solutions of Cincinnati & NKY has a variety of basic and high-level security services and cybersecurity solutions for your business.

Don’t wait to be a victim. Be proactive. Protect your data and have peace of mind.

Contact CMIT Solutions of Cincinnati & NKY for your free IT audit or call us at 513-594-9169 today.

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