Technology Background

How to Avoid Data Breaches That Can Cost You Millions

Posted by Kirk Leman, Senior Consultant on Feb 9, 2015

Cloud SecurityData security has been a hot topic recently as more big name organizations report costly data breaches. Target, Home Depot, and Adobe are among several billion dollar corporations to lose sensitive data at the hands of cyber criminals.

As a result, security teams all across the world are scrambling to protect their own corporate data. Yet more data breaches are being reported at a faster rate than ever, and the statistics are staggering:

  • $100 billion is estimated to be lost annually due to data breaches in the U.S.
  • 43% of companies had a data breach last year
  • There were 1.5 million monitored cyber attacks in the U.S. in 2013.

An even more shocking statistic is that 82% of all data breaches are a result of employee misuse or error. In 2013, the American retailer Target fell prey to one of the most infamous and costly data breaches ever reported with an estimated cost of 148 million dollars — and growing. In this case, the hackers actually gained initial access by phishing credentials from a Target employee.

The Target incident is a perfect example of why end user education is critical when protecting corporate data. Had the employee been properly informed about cyber security, the data breach would likely have never happened. So how do we educate our employees to work safely in the cloud? Educating your end-users about the following critical topics can significantly reduce your chances of data loss.

  • Phishing: Train end users how a phishing email appears, and what steps to take if they think they are being phished.
  • Password Hygiene: Explain the differences between strong and weak passwords, and other “best practices” such as not using the same password for multiple sites.
  • Multi-factor Authentication: Make multi-factor authentication available when possible — and teach your employees how to enable it.

  • Mobile Device Security: Train or require employees to encrypt their devices and lock them with a PIN or pattern match.

At Onix, we strongly believe in the importance of user education and data protection. We promote the most secure cloud solutions on the market, but they are only as secure as our customers’ end users. To bridge that gap, we’ve developed a cyber security offering designed to train your users and protect your data.

Onix Cyber Security Offering


  • Penetration testing to gauge your organization’s susceptibility to phishing attacks
  • End user surveys to rate the overall security status of your company


  • Instructor-led security training for your end users
  • An instructional Intranet security site customized for your company

Security Tips

  • Email templates to send to your employees
  • A printable series of posters to display in your offices.

Topics: Cloud Infrastructure, GCP


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Kirk Leman, Senior Consultant

Kirk Leman, Senior Consultant

Kirk has been providing consulting services at Onix since 2013. He specializes in the technical deployment of G Suite for corporate, government, and educational organizations.