The Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification, or CMMC, has been a topic of conversation for a few years within the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). CMMC is a unified standard for implementing cybersecurity across the DIB, which includes over 300,000 companies in the supply chain. The CMMC is the DoD’s response to significant compromises of sensitive defense information located on contractors’ information systems. The US Department of Defense (DoD) released the much-anticipated Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) version 1.0•• on January 31, 2020. Since then, CMMC has undergone much scrutiny and discussion. Here is a timeline of CMMC:

September 2020: The CMMC program published by the DoD (now known as CMMC 1.0). This framework assesses a Defense Industrial Base (DIB) contractor’s compliance with a set of cybersecurity standards.

November 2020: A Presidential interim rule became effective, establishing a five-year phase-in period and requiring compliance with NIST 800-71 rules.

March 2021: The DoD announced an internal review of CMMC’s implementation.

November 2021: The DoD announced CMMC 2.0, and updated program and requirements designed to meet certain goals, including:

  • Protecting sensitive information to enable and protect the warfighter.
  • Dynamically enhance DIB cybersecurity to meet evolving threats.
  • Ensuring accountability while minimizing barriers to compliance with DoD requirements.
  • Contributing to a collaborative culture of cybersecurity and cyber resilience.
  • Maintaining public trust through high professional and ethical standards.

With the rise of cybercrime, companies must proactively protect their data and systems from data breaches. In this article, we’ll discuss five key strategies businesses can use to prevent data breaches and keep their information secure. We’ll also take a closer look at the true cost of a data breach and how working with an MSSP like Braxton-Grant can help you prevent and recover from one.

Read on to learn more about protecting your business from data breaches.

What Is a Data Breach?

A data breach is an unauthorized access or disclosure of sensitive information, such as personal identification, financial, or intellectual property. Data breaches can occur through various means, including hacking, social engineering, and physical theft. Once the information is compromised, it can be sold on the dark web or used to commit identity theft, financial fraud, or other nefarious activities. Data breaches can have severe consequences for both individuals and organizations, leading to significant financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liabilities.

What Is the Cost of a Data Breach?

The cost of a data breach for a business can be substantial, ranging from direct financial losses to indirect costs related to damage control and recovery efforts. According to the 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM, the average data breach cost for a business was $4.24 million. This cost includes legal fees, regulatory fines, notification and credit monitoring services for affected individuals, and lost productivity. Companies may also face reputational damage and loss of customer trust, leading to decreased sales and revenue in the long run. Investing in security measures and regularly reviewing and updating them can help prevent data breaches and mitigate costs.

Image of a stressed out person sitting at their computer desk.

How to Prevent Data Breaches

At this point, you’re probably wondering how to avoid a data breach. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

1. Implement strong security protocols. Establishing security protocols is a must for any business; they help protect your data from unauthorized access. Ensure all passwords are complex and changed regularly, implement two-factor authentication when available, and make sure sensitive data is encrypted when stored or transferred. Require employees to only log into company systems from secure devices and networks, and limit which applications they can download onto their work devices.

2. Train employees on data protection. Employee negligence is one of the leading causes of data breaches, so it’s essential to train your team to handle sensitive information properly. Teach them the importance of good password rotation, explain how to recognize phishing attempts, and stress the need for caution when opening emails or clicking links from unknown sources. You should also provide resources to help them identify potential threats and respond appropriately if they suspect a breach has occurred.

3. Monitor your network. Use tools such as IDS/IPS systems to detect malicious activity and quickly address vulnerabilities. Logging system events can also help you track user activity so you can easily spot suspicious behavior before it becomes problematic. Ensure you have up-to-date malware protection on all systems connected to your network.

4. Limit access to sensitive data. Allowing access to sensitive data increases your organization’s risk of experiencing a breach. To reduce this risk, carefully consider who needs access to which data types and set stringent guidelines around who can view or modify specific information. If an employee no longer needs access to certain data, revoke their authorization immediately.

5. Backup regularly. In the event of a breach, you’ll want to quickly recover any lost or corrupted information without too much downtime or disruption in service levels for customers or clients. Regularly backing up your critical systems will give you peace of mind knowing that everything can be restored if disaster strikes. These backups must be stored securely offsite in case of theft or destruction at your primary facility.

If your business is looking to avoid the costs of a data breach, be sure to check out this article that takes a deep dive into identifying phishing.

How can you identify a phishing email?

The Benefits of Working With an MSP

Data breaches can be extremely costly for businesses, but managing IT infrastructure alone can be an even bigger challenge. That’s why many companies are turning to Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) to help them keep their data and systems secure. At Braxton-Grant Technologies, our experienced team of engineers is dedicated to providing top-notch security solutions and assisting clients in protecting their businesses from cyberattacks. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Increased Security: MSSPs like Braxton-Grant Technologies offer various security solutions to protect data, systems, and networks from cyber threats. Our team of experts can help you design an effective security plan and deploy the right tools to keep your business safe. We also provide regular monitoring and patching services to ensure your systems are up to date with the latest security patches.
  • Cost Savings: Working with an MSP can save businesses time and money by eliminating the need for expensive in-house IT teams or hardware purchases. By outsourcing your IT needs, you can reduce overhead costs while receiving top-tier services from experienced technicians. At Braxton-Grant Technologies, we offer flexible pricing plans so you only pay for the services you need.
  • Expert Guidance: The experienced engineers at a good MSP are knowledgeable about the latest technologies and trends in data security, which means they can provide valuable advice when deciding how best to protect your business.
  • Proactive Maintenance: With regular maintenance and monitoring services an MSP provides, businesses can prevent potential problems before they become costly disasters. At Braxton-Grant Technologies, our engineers run scheduled scans on all of our client’s networks and systems for early detection of any issues or vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit.

Partner With Braxton-Grant Technologies Today to Avoid the Costs of a Data Breach

Data breaches are an unfortunate reality for many businesses, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself from potential threats and keep confidential information safe from prying eyes.

Regardless of your business’s size, your best bet is to consult a reputable Managed Security Service Provider like Braxton-Grant Technologies. We understand the importance of data safety and strive to give our clients peace of mind when protecting their businesses from cyber threats. If you’re looking for an experienced MSSP who will go above and beyond in providing reliable solutions tailored specifically to your organization’s needs, contact us today.