Cost of Data Breaches up by 29%

June 20, 2016//Ellen Neveux

Last Updated: July 03, 2018

Healthcare reaches $355 per compromised record
When a company suffers a data breach there are many costs – both direct and indirect. The first is a public blow to the credibility of the brand. But from there, various factors determine post-breach public opinion of the enterprise. The masses typically want answers to the following:

  • What sensitive information was compromised?
  • How many people or partners could be impacted?
  • How long did the breach last?
  • Does the company know how they were attacked, who the attackers were?
  • (And most critically) What’s the enhanced security plan for the future?

How the company answers (or doesn’t answer) these questions have an immediate impact on business going forward. Big or small, it’s clear the price of the breach heavy, but the actual cost in real-time dollars of compromised data is extremely high – and rising.

Cost of a data breach
The Ponemon Institute and IBM conduct an annual study that reviews the current “Cost of a Data Breach.” The 2016 report includes surveys from 400 companies across the globe and found that the average cost of a data breach for companies is a staggering $4 million. This number represents a 29% increase since 2013.

The study explored the differences between industry and reaction time to call out the primary variables that influence a data breach price tag. In a press release issued by IBM, the company says,

    “Cybersecurity incidents continue to grow in both volume and sophistication, with 64 percent more security incidents reported in 2015 than in 2014. As these threats become more complex, the cost to companies continues to rise. In fact, the study found that companies lose $158 per compromised record. Breaches in highly regulated industries were even more costly, with healthcare reaching $355 per record – a full $100 more than in 2013.”

The complexity of attacks can impact a company’s response time, which in turn makes the event more expensive. The statement continues,

    • “The study also found the longer it takes to detect and contain a data breach, the more costly it becomes to resolve. While breaches that were identified in less than 100 days cost companies an average of $3.23 million, breaches that were found after the 100-day mark cost over $1 million more on average ($4.38 million). The average time to identify a breach in the study was estimated at 201 days, and the average time to contain a breach was estimated at 70 days.”

Ponemon concluded that there is a 26% probability a company will suffer a data breach of 10,000 records over the next two years. This stat makes it critical to not only make sure to have a response team in place but to also identify the most vulnerable areas of an enterprise – notably, how third-party access is managed.

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