The Cost of a Data Breach

It seems like more and more these days personal data is being compromised. In addition to exposed personal information and bad publicity, the cost to a business can be devastating. According to a 2017 annual study by IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2017 was $3.62 million! For every record that is lost or stolen, it costs a company on average $225.

What is a Data Breach?

The study defines a data loss as “an event in which an individual’s name plus Social Security number, medical record and/or a financial record or debit card is potentially put at risk–either in electronic or paper format.1 ” It can be safely stated that protecting this information is essential. It is essential not only for the safety of the consumer but for future of your company.

What are the causes of Data Breaches?

Malicious or criminal attacks caused over half of all data breaches (52%). However, more surprising is that human errors caused nearly a quarter (24%) of all data breaches. This means that many of these data breaches are entirely preventable. Included in these factors were things like stolen devices such as computers and mobile phones, loss of data from migration to the cloud, compliance failures and many more.

How can these be prevented?

It is nearly impossible to prevent all data breaches. In a world of ever-changing technology, and more complex cyber attacks it’s difficult to predict malicious activity. However, meeting compliance standards, modern encryption methods and staying on top of your network security all can decrease your risk. The IBM study found that companies with an incident response plan in place had a significant reduction of cost in the event of a breach. In addition, the study recommends advanced employee training to be cautious with data, equipment and to learn the signs of malicious activity. These steps can go a long way towards preventing human errors.

In many cases, the data breach wasn’t identified for more than six months, and it took an additional two months to contain the incident. Finding ways to detect these attacks and deal with them quickly should be a significant focus. Breaches that took longer than 100 days to contain, cost nearly $3 million more in damages.

While your business may not be at risk for millions of dollars, it goes without saying that every company should make sure they are protected. At Customware Inc, we can help make sure you have the best security measures and technology in place. Get in touch with us!

12017 Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study