A Look Inside the State of Cybersecurity in Colorado

Recently, the Denver Business Journal featured an interesting story about Colorado’s cybersecurity industry that caught a lot of attention. These days, Colorado is becoming known as a still-growing community for entrepreneurs, digital healthcare and startups, but despite its relative greenness in the startup world, it has a lot to teach the rest of the country about cybersecurity. As the Denver Business Journal pointed out, Colorado is even creating a National Cybersecurity Intelligence Center to serve as a cybersecurity hub and training center for officials around the country.

With all the attention Colorado’s cybersecurity industry is getting lately, we decided to take a further look into the current state of cybersecurity and why this center is so important for the State of Colorado and the country at large.

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Unfortunately, the information out there concerning data breaches, hacking and other cybersecurity issues is still pretty scant, but there are some good estimates. The Identity Theft Resource Center estimates that there were 781 data breaches in 2015, and according to the IBM 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study, which can be downloaded here, data breaches cost companies a total of $3.8 million in 2015. That’s a 23-percent increase from 2013. The study also found that the costs for each lost or stolen sensitive or confidential record increased by 6 percent.

A good cybersecurity/business continuity management program does help, though. The IBM study found that these programs can reduce the cost of a data breach by 9 percent, the mean time to identify a data breach by 27 percent and reduce the mean time to contain a data breach by 41 percent. These programs also seem to help prevent data breaches, decreasing the likelihood of one by 28 percent over the next two years.

That’s why Colorado’s potential National Cybersecurity Intelligence Center is so important. The numbers say that cyber attacks and data breaches only seem to be getting more prevalent and more costly as time goes on. Education and proper training about cybersecurity will go a long way.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers drove this point home in an interview with the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He said, “Public officials like myself didn’t grow up in the cyber era, so we need tools … to protect the cyber assets of the city or the state or whatever.”

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