Preventing Security Breaches Collaborative Summary Essay Sample

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During Week 2, our team focused our collaborative discussion on different technologies that businesses can use to prevent security breaches and reduce the risk of cyber-attacks they are increasingly experiencing. To aid in our discussion, team member, Jennifer Ashton, posted an article entitled “The Right Technology Fix Can Help Prevent Breaches”, written by author, Tim Horton. Mr. Horton’s article remarked on the rising number of data breaches, how often they affect small businesses, and measures that organizations can employ to avoid future intrusions.

“The Right Technology Fix Can Help Prevent Breaches”
Data breaches and cyber-attack frequency has dramatically increased in recent years, with the advancement of technology and the prevalence of more “cloud” storage and remote access servers. In Mr. Horton’s article, he remarks on the high cost a data breach can have on both finances and a company’s reputation. (Horton, 2014) Citing the Ponemon Institute’s 2013 Cost of a Data Breach Study, Horton goes on to state that “data breaches can cost an average organization more than $5 million per incident.” (Ponemon Institute, 2013)

While the effects of one of these attacks is realized at a much higher price point for larger businesses, smaller companies are actually targeted more often because of their lack of security infrastructures and data monitoring systems. In fact, Horton claims that more than 90% of data breaches affect small businesses. (Horton, 2014) These startling numbers leave many small business owners wondering what they can do to reduce the risk associated with cyber-attacks.

There are countless steps that can be taken to safeguard a company’s data systems against intrusions; however, our collaborative discussion stressed three. Our team reviewed the benefits of updating POS (point-of-sale) systems to EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) technological standards, implementing “layering” encryption and tokenization, and utilizing outsourced penetration tests to assess and report on a company’s current information security strength. The three methods we chose highlight customer access points, data storage systems, and remote access to those data systems.

With cost ranges averaging millions of dollars per incident and the elevated risk toward small businesses, all organizations should begin investing in new technology to protect their databases and information. Horton’s article goes over multiple different options to avoid these cyber-intrusions, but our team decided to focus on information “layering” encryption and tokenization, updated POS systems, and contracted penetration tests. By focusing on these three areas of a company’s information security infrastructure, we have addressed suppliers, end-users, and third-party breaches; effectively encapsulating all parties involved.


Horton, T. (2014, May 1). The Right Technology Fix Can Help Prevent Breaches. Retrieved December 19, 2014, from ProQuest: Ponemon Institute. (2013, May 28). 2013 Cost of Data Breach: Global Analysis. Retrieved December 19, 2014, from Ponemon Institute:

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