White Paper: The Osano Data Privacy and Data Breach Link

Osano is pleased to share the results of our groundbreaking research. We analyzed the relationship between a company’s privacy practices and their likelihood of experiencing a data breach. The Osano Data Privacy and Data Breach Link reveals a predictive relationship between responsible privacy practices and security outcomes. 

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The comprehensive study highlights the following facts: 

  • Approximately 2.77% of companies reported a data breach over the past fifteen years. 
  • Companies with the least rigorous privacy practices are nearly twice as likely to suffer a data breach than companies with excellent data stewardship.
  • The average company shares its data with 730 different vendors and third-party vendors. Third parties were responsible for two out of every three data breaches. 
  • Companies with the least rigorous privacy practices lose seven times the number of data records when they are breached. 
  • Hacker attacks were responsible for the highest number of data breaches and hacker-caused data breaches inflicted the most severe losses. 
  • Companies in financial industries were far more likely to experience data breaches caused by inside jobs. 
  • Nearly 30% of government and educational organizations with “.gov” and “.edu” top-level domains experienced a data breach.

The correlations between data breaches and Osano Privacy Scores stem from many causes including willful ignorance, oversight of privacy best practices that increase risk exposure, and company culture around responsible data stewardship. Another key link between data breaches and privacy practices is third party vendors. The average company shares its data with 730 different vendors, and according to the Internal Auditors Research Foundation, third parties were responsible for two out of every three data breaches.

Many companies are lagging behind current data privacy requirements. By prioritizing best-in-class privacy practices, companies can reduce the risk of security incidents and demonstrate their trustworthiness to customers.

After a thorough examination of the privacy practices from more than 11,000 companies and organizations, Osano identified three key trends for 2020: 

  • Increasing complexity of vendor policy changes and notifications
  • Growing public concern about data privacy
  • Increasing legislative activity addressing data security


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