As Risk Grows, Companies Must Make a Plan Now to Mitigate a Third-Party Data Breach

While companies can quickly put strong solutions in place that increase phishing resistance and guard against insider threats, there’s one source of trouble that businesses can’t do anything about – the way that those they do business with store and protect their data. However, there are a few measures that companies can put in place to lower their risk of trouble from a third-party data breach in 2020.

Why is it dangerous?

The primary way that a third-party data breach puts companies at risk is because it is a surprise. Uncontrollable variables wreak havoc on IT security planning. It is impossible to be fully prepared for such an event because it is impossible to estimate what data might be stolen, and by whom, and when. A recent study noted that 53% of organizations have experienced one or more data breaches caused by a third party, costing an average of $7.5 million to remediate (

How can it be prevented?

The only way to prevent a third-party data breach is to never give anyone else any information, and that is certainly not tenable. No business exists in a bubble. But while prevention is impossible, mitigation is possible, and that is the best way to lower the risk of a third-party data breach putting data and systems in danger.

Take these steps now to bolster cybersecurity against a third-party data breach:

  • Add Multifactor Authentication (MFA) for Every Login – This single step can save so many headaches. If nothing else on this list is possible, just adding MFA puts a strong barrier between bad actors and business systems and data. Even if a password is stolen in a third-party breach that is being reused by a staffer at work (and password recycling is a constant problem), MFA prevents it from working without a separately delivered code – making that password useless for a cybercriminal.

Our Identity Management solution incorporates both single sign on (SSO) to conveniently access applications with a single username and password and MFA to add an extra layer of security to them.

  • Train Employees to Spot Spear Phishing - One danger of a third party data breach is that bad actors gain information about a business from a partner, and then use that information to attempt to lure in unwary employees through authentic looking spear phishing emails that appear to be from a trusted sender, to snatch their passwords or deliver ransomware. Boosting phishing resistance training will make workers more suspicious of unexpected emails to guard against spear phishing attempts landing successfully.

Optistar’s Security Awareness Training gets employees prepared to defend against phishing attempts – even COVID-19 threats. 

  • Watch for Third-Party Credential Compromise - Dark Web monitoring doesn’t just protect staff credentials by watching for them to leak from their employer; it also watches for those credentials to hit the Dark Web from anywhere. That means that companies are still alerted if an employee’s monitored password has leaked from another source as well, giving IT teams time to shore up that vulnerability.

Optistar’s Dark Web ID is the solution to this problem. By monitoring the Dark Web for stolen or leaked staff credentials from any source, companies are able to mitigate the potential damage of a compromised credential fast. 

Preventing a third-party data breach is not something that is possible for businesses. But adding essential protections that mitigate the danger is something that IS possible. Our risk protection platform can help shore up cybersecurity to reduce risk and add security that helps prevent damage from a third-party data breach – without blowing out the IT budget.

Contact Optistar today at for an assessment of your current risk and how we can help lower it quickly and affordably or visit and complete the form for more information.