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Data breaches are a serious problem. According to the RiskBased Security Q3 2019 Data Breach QuickView Report, over 5,000 breaches amounting to 7.9 Billion records exposed occurred in the first nine months of 2019 alone. That was a 33.3% increase over mid-year reports from 2018. When records are exposed, the breached organization often faces an onslaught of scrutiny from its customers and the media.

In addition to the long-term damage to an organization’s reputation, data breaches are expensive. The financial consequences to a data breach span from lost business to fines from regulators and remediation costs. The average total cost of a data breach is $3.92 million, and the US leads other countries with an average total cost of $8.19 million per breach. The average size of a data breach is 25,575 records. Would your business survive?

As an exercise, imagine what would happen if the Super Bowl was breached. This year, the San Francisco 49ers faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Hard Rock Stadium, which can accommodate 64,767 screaming fans.

With the average cost per stolen record totaling $245, that would amount to a whopping $15,867,915 — well above the average cost of a data breach in the US. Ouch.

Now imagine how a data breach would impact a college or university. Whether you enroll 5,000 or 25,000 students, the numbers are painful. Plus, most colleges and universities have more visitors paying on their campus than just the students. Think of the schools with large football stadiums like the Super Bowl:

Type Credit Card Total Cost
Small University 10,000 10,000 x $245 = $2M+
Medium University 50,000 50,000 x $245 = $12M+
Large University 100,000 100,000 x $245 = $24M+

Each figure is large enough to merit some healthy fear from Presidents, CFOs, CIOs, Treasurers and anyone else who has ownership over finance and compliance. Are you doing all you can to protect sensitive data?

Don’t Leave Security & Compliance to a Hail Mary

The figures mapped out above are startling. In addition to the financial burden a breached university faces, it must also account for the reputational damage that occurs. A breach puts future student enrollment and alumni donations at risk.

Those in the higher education sector must guard against these very real threats to minimize financial losses, legal action, reputational damage and more. A data breach can also knock a university into operational chaos as post mortems and investigations impede on day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Playing Monday morning quarterback after a breach can result in additional losses of time and resources.

Kick-Off 2020 with the Best Partner in Payments

Arrow Payments understands secure P2PE payment processing solutions, PCI compliance, and we know how to protect you from hackers and data breaches. We work directly with campus treasury departments, IT and PCI teams to keep data safe and formulate the best defenses.

Let our seasoned team of experts assess your university’s risk. We’ll partner with all internal teams and vendors to create a PCI-compliant playbook that keeps sensitive data safe. We are point-to-point encryption (P2PE) experts, so we can also explore ways to reduce PCI scope and costs.

If you’re ready to make Arrow Payments your #1 draft pick, contact us today to get a free consultation.

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