What is the cost of a data breach?

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The average cost of data breach has increased 15% to $3.5m while the cost of each stolen sensitive and confidential data occurence has increased 9% to $145, according to a study.

According to Ponemon Institute study sponsored by IBM, the costliest breaches have been reported in US and Germany with each costing $201 and $195 respectively while least costly was recorded in India and Brazil each costing $51 and $70, respectively.

Data loss cost companies most customers in France and Italy while least number of customers were lost by companies in Brazil and Arabian region.

According to the survey, the countries which are most likely to face data breach include India, Brazil and France while the probability of experiencing data breach involving 10,000 or more confidential records is 22% over a two year period.

The main cause of data breach however differs from country to country, with malicious or criminal attack being the cause in Germany and Arabian countries; while system glitch is main cause of breach in India; human error is the main cause of breach in the UK and Brazil.

Malicious attack causes costliest attack with the US and Germany with organisations paying maximum of $246 and $215 per compromised record while least amount paid in India and Brazil, where companies paid $60 and $77 per compromised record, respectively.

IBM Security Services Division general manager Kris Lovejoy said clearly, cyber security threats are a growing concern for businesses, especially when one considers how persistent data has become in the age of cloud and mobility.

"A data breach can result in enormous damage to a business that goes way beyond the financials. At stake is customer loyalty and brand reputation." Lovejoy said.
Ponemon Institute interviewed 1,690 executives from IT, compliance and information security departments of 314 organisations from 10 countries, which found that greatest threats to the companies are malicious code and sustained probes.

Despite the growing cost of security breaches only 38% of them have security strategy to thwart such attempts, while 45% of the companies have a strategy to protect their information assets.

The survey found that the companies will be dealing with an average of 17 malicious codes and 12 sustained probes each month.

Every month companies estimate to deal 10 unauthorised access incidents.

Over the next one year companies would like to invest about $14m to execute their security strategy and anticipate investing about $7m, half of the amount they like to invest.

About half the companies don’t have confidence or low confidence on their security strategy whether they are making right investment on people, process or technologies.

Ponemon Institute chairman and founder Dr. Larry Ponemon said the goal of this research is to not just help companies understand the types of data breaches that could impact their business, but also the potential costs and how best to allocate resources to the prevention, detection and resolution of such an incident.

"This year’s Cost of Data Breach Study also provides guidance on the likelihood an organisation will have a data breach and what can be done to reduce the financial consequences," Ponemon added.

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