Since COVID-19, the US FBI has reported a 300% increase in cybercrime reports. Additionally, over 50% of all cyber-attacks are targeted toward SMBs, and the annual number of security breaches on enterprise-level organizations grew by 27.4%.

A digital asset management security breach could lead to loss or provide unauthorized access to your digital assets, such as images, videos, and IP. These data could even get deleted or misused by perpetrators. Such an incident will hurt the organization's reputation, legal standing, and revenue. Therefore, sound practices must be in place to detect and contain data breaches on digital assets.

Today we're going to discuss the dangers of cyber security attacks and the steps you can take to better your digital asset management security.

Worst-Case Scenario: What Could Happen in the Event of a Security Breach?

Cyber security threats can derail your business and even prove fatal to future growth possibilities. Unfortunately, no industry is immune to cyber security threats.

According to IBM's 2022 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, these are the world's most targeted industries for cyber attacks,

  • Manufacturing,
  • Finance & insurance,
  • Retail,
  • Professional services (legal, accounting, tech companies)
  • Energy

Some of the typical cyber-attack schemes that lead to data breaches, data loss, Identity theft, and compromised credentials are:

  • Malware - Includes viruses that damage a computer, server, client, or computer network.
  • Viruses - Malicious programs that spread from computer to computer so cybercriminals gain access to systems.
  • Ransomware - A type of malware that limits access to a system until a ransom is paid.
  • Phishing - Usage of email or a malicious website to infect the user's device to collect sensitive information.
  • Denial of Service (DDoS) - Attempt to crack a web server or online system by overwhelming it with information to make the machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users.

Here's a brief overview of the ramifications of a security breach of digital assets.

1. Reputation damage

Loss of customer and stakeholder trust is one of the most harmful impacts of a security breach. Most customers will hesitate to engage with a company that has been a victim of security incidents, especially if it has failed to protect consumer data. 15% of consumers say they switched to another provider because of data leaks. Losing customer trust is one of the most dangerous things to any business, as it leads to the devaluation of the brand.

In November 2022, AirAsia fell victim to a ransomware attack that leaked critical passengers' & employees' data. The attackers sent AirAsia .csv files with information such as names, security questions and answers, dates of birth, and employment data. This incident greatly impacted their brand reputation since the personal details of their customers and employees were exposed.

2. Increases churn rate

If customers fear a cyber security lapse, they will take a second guess before transacting with your business. As a result, the churn rate will inflate, which is detrimental to business's growth.

In 2021,  Elliott Greenleaf law firm layers stole essential files from the organization and deleted emails. They did this for their gain and to help a competing law firm launch a new office in Delaware. After this incident, Elliott Greenleaf's capability to compete in Delaware decreased, and their Wilmington office was made inoperable (Source).

FurStudies by YouGov report that at least 12% to 30% of customers across the globe will switch service providers due to a data breach. These customers can only be won back with serious effort as well. Hence, it becomes critical to implement a DAM security strategy and follow it diligently.

3. Financial loss

According to a 2022 IBM report, organizations that lost around 2% of their customer base after a breach faced an average revenue loss of $2.67 million,

Even if you reduce the damages by identifying and containing the incident, you'll still need to consider the costs surrounding the following:

Further, a breach's recovery is estimated to be around $4.54M. There are also the costs incurred for compensating affected customers, vendors, and stakeholders for damages and expenses related to litigation.

Data protection and privacy laws like GDPR require you to manage all digital assets securely, whether staff or customers. If this data gets leaked accidentally or deliberately and your business fails to take appropriate security measures, the fines and legal consequences will be severe.

GDPR states that organizations have a maximum time frame of 72 hours to report a security breach to data protection authorities. Organizations may receive a fine of up to 10 million Euros or 2% of their global annual turnover if the data breach notification provisions are violated.

5. Operational disruption

Cyber criminals use various methods to restrict the everyday activities of a company by infecting systems with malware that removes high-value information. They can also install malicious code in a server to block website access.

So, in addition to financial damages, companies face indirect costs due to cyber attacks as it interrupts daily operations. Also, the average cost of rectifying a DDoS attack is between $20,000 - $40,000 per hour, which is significant even for large-scale enterprises.

For instance, ransomware attacks destroy digital assets and data rather than releasing them to their rightful owners. Apart from digital asset loss, a ransomware attack can also force organizations to lay off 29% of their employees due to financial pressures.

7 Ways to Fortify your Digital Asset Management (DAM) Security

We now know for a fact that protecting digital assets is essential. But how exactly do we do it? These pointers can help.

1. Identify your most important assets

Since your company must create a large volume of digital assets to stay relevant and connected to your audience, finding the ones most valuable to your company might take a lot of work. Identifying the best assets is crucial when you're trying to beef up your digital asset management security.

With the help of your stakeholders and team members, you should identify brand assets to keep and discard. You can make more space for distinctive and relevant assets by going through the brand asset learning journey.

2. Use folders to classify sensitive assets

Knowing how to use, locate, discover, and classify sensitive folders is crucial to connecting digital asset management security with data protection initiatives. Categorizing sensitive data into folders will help you know if you're applying the proper access controls and security solutions. Plus, following a folder structure for storing your digital assets will provide an easier way for users to access and retrieve digital assets.

3. Restrict asset transformations

When transformation presets are applied, you can find out how your assets will look in different levels of compressions. You can make presets (crop, resize) for image and video transformations. Limiting actions to such types of critical transformations are necessary to prevent your employees from making unauthorized changes to confidential data,

It is also required to constantly update your permissions and restrict transformation to authorized team members in your organization. This ensures that only authorized transformations or watermarked assets are used.

4. Use signed URLs while sharing assets

Creating signed URLs is one of the most practical methods for sharing digital assets securely. For example, a signed URL for an image or video includes a password-protected link that expires within the specified time and date.

If you click the URL and post the expiration time, it will display an HTTP error code. Through these signed URLs, you can share private content securely.

5. Conduct an org-wide digital security audit

Conducting digital asset management security audits regularly ensures your organization is protected and that sensitive information is stored and managed correctly. If these audits are neglected, minor problems will grow into huge risks that may result in substantial business losses.

The size of your business doesn't matter regarding security audits because even small businesses are widely targeted. According to Accenture's Cost of Cybercrime Study, 43% of cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses.

Security audits target your processes, people, and weakest links. Some will help you identify if your organization is legally compliant, and others will help you recognize potential security vulnerabilities. It is also a best practice to schedule monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and annual security audits with varying levels of checks to iron out all weak links.

6. Avoid using public file-sharing systems

If you use a public file-sharing system for digital asset distribution, you risk exposing sensitive data and opening your system to attackers.

Even personal file-sharing systems such as Dropbox, Google Docs, and similar products could be prone to security lapses if proper security measures are not applied. Plus, they will not be suitable for DAM since they prevent you from creating a single unified library. T.

You need to invest in an enterprise-grade cloud-based DAM system like ImageKit, with secure file-sharing features such as structured user authentication and data loss prevention.

7. Train employees in digital security best practices

Even after implementing the above recommendations, your digital assets could still be vulnerable due to human errors. However, some may also be due to a lack of knowledge or needing to follow security best practices. Since employees have access to some of your most sensitive files, training them to protect digital assets against online attacks is essential.

Conduct regular meetings and workshops to ensure your staff has adequate knowledge of digital asset management security protocols.

How ImageKit Helps Protect your Digital Assets?

If you want to secure, control, and streamline how your team accesses your digital assets, then it's time to include our centralized DAM solution in your processes today. You can safely share files and data clusters of any size and type through our enterprise-grade cloud environment. Here are the safety measures employed in our DAM systems to ensure the utmost security.

Restricting unnamed image transformations

For every image transformation (resize, crop) action you make inside the DAM, you can give a transformation name to the image URL for easy identification. Named transformations ensure that employees cannot perform any unauthorized transformation. Tt also ensures that third parties who can access and collaborate on your DAM system are only performing allowed transformations.

Restricting unsigned URLs

A signed URL is created using your DAM account's private key. They ensure that the asset is watermarked and cannot be removed without permission. Further, signed URLs ensure that the asset remains accessible only for a specific period in the future.

Unsigned URLs, on the other hand, are an insecure way to distribute digital assets, as they would open up asset access to anybody. With ImageKit's signed URL security, you can rest assured that all your assets are secured from unauthorized access and usage.

User access mangement

User access management users get rights and privileges best suited to their day-to-day business needs. Access can be modified based on authority, responsibility, and job competency. If required, you can share access to the assets on a need-to-know basis. Restricting asset access based on the need is a surefire way to avoid misuse, accidental deletion, or even Intellectual Property theft.

SSO access

SSO stands for single sign-on, allowing users to sign into an application with the unique ID provided by a trusted Identity Provided (IdP., for example, you can use your Google, Facebook, and Twitter IDs to log into applications. Some DAM applications allow users to log into the system using SSO without asking them to create a username and password. This makes it easier for the admin to authenticate and authorize users and even restrict their access once they leave the organization.

Closing Notes

While you may feel that you're not vulnerable to attacks, it could happen at any time. So, no matter your industry, digital asset management security should be at your firm's top of the list.

Furthermore, 95% of cybersecurity breaches happen due to human error. So protecting critical assets is more than just the responsibility of your IT team. Every organization member should be responsible and do their best to keep their digital assets from the wrong hands.

Protecting digital assets is vital to improving your company's overall bottom line. However, to deter unauthorized users from gaining access to and reduce the risk of experiencing an attack, you must go beyond the basic steps and implement the digital asset management security measures discussed above.

Looking for a cloud-based DAM system that boasts high-end security and reliability?

ImageKit is your answer. Sign up for our forever-free trial to get a taste of the best DAM features with coupled high-end security.

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