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What can Superheroes teach us about Data Security?

We all love superheroes. They can throw fireballs and fly in the air. But, did you know they can also teach us a thing or two about security.

We all love superheroes. They can throw fireballs, fly in the air, scale walls, shoot webs like a spider, make themselves invisible and even blend into any environment. But, did you know they can also teach us a thing or two about security.

You may not have to protect the universe from Thanos, but defending your organization from data security threats is pretty heroic too. So, what can an epic battle between Thanos and Marvel superheroes teach you about how to keep enterprise data safe? Read on to find out.

Lesson 1 | New villains require a new way of thinking
Avengers introduces us to Thanos, a big bad villain whose goal is to wipe out half the universe. While Thanos may seem larger than life, when it comes to sensitive data, enterprises too must deal with a threat landscape that is more fraught than ever before.

According to IBM, the global average cost of a data breach that affects over a million records is US$3.86 million. And while the US saw a 5.5% increase in data breach costs, Canada experienced a slightly higher 6.7% surge.

Much like the destruction Thanos left in his wake, no stat can truly capture the full impact of a data breach. In addition to penalties and lost customers, the broken trust and reputational damage that follows a data breach can plague organizations for years.

Lesson 2 | You Can’t See into the Future … But You Can Gain Visibility in Other Ways
Unlike superheroes, everyday mortals don’t have the gift of seeing what will come to pass, and therefore must use the means they do have for improved visibility into the risks that their data presents.

Although many companies have securities measures in place, there is still a large amount of data that is vulnerable. This, coupled with the fact that most organizations lack crucial visibility into what they need to protect, highlights the importance of visibility being a vital first step in a robust data security strategy.

As in the Avengers, better visibility is a crucial precursor to defending against the bad guys. In the case of data security, any data management plan is contingent upon understanding the data your company possesses so that it can be managed and leveraged appropriately.

Lesson 3 | The Avengers (and Data Security) is About Working Together
At its core, the Avengers series is about teamwork. Though each superhero is pretty awesome in their own right, combined, these individuals are an epic force. Similarly, data management and security must be approached holistically within companies, with every team and department participating in the same approach. A fragmented approach to data management increases the volume of unstructured data, growing room for errors and data mishandling.

What’s more, unified data management not only helps enterprises reduce data security risks, but it also allows them to harness their data insight superpowers to increase revenue, improve efficiencies, and better serve customers.

Lesson 4 | Spoiler Alert! Sometimes the Bad Guys Win, But You Can Ease the Fallout
Not all superhero stories end with the good guys winning. And, given the growing threat landscape, it’s possible that even well-prepared and protected organizations can experience a data breach. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime is estimated to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. This doesn’t mean data management strategies are futile. In fact, data classification was identified as one of the top factors that can reduce the cost of a data breach. How? Because having data repositories that are well organized makes it easier to identify and contain leaks, whereas messy, unstructured data stores make it difficult to know what was compromised. In short, the better organized your data, the better your ability to spot and contain a breach.

Wrap Up
To summarize, the Marvel superheroes in Avengers face an enemy unlike any they’ve encountered before. But they rally with heart and teamwork to fight their best fight, as can businesses in the battle for total data security. The good guys might not always win (and data breaches can occur despite state-of-the-art protections), but planning for the worst-case scenario can help enterprises reduce the fallout.

While cyber criminals represent a large threat to Companies, it’s easy to see that they are not the only threats or even the biggest ones. In most cases, the critical threats to organizations are their own lack of adequate defenses and employees who are ignorant of cyber threats.

Are you Security Superhero? Take our quiz to find out how much you really know.

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