The Ponemon Insititute has published the latest edition of its landmark Cost of a Data Breach study, providing more evidence that the financial impact of cybercrime is increasing at an alarming rate.
A total of 350 companies across 11 countries took part in the research, which revealed that the average consolidated total cost of a data breach has reached $3.8 million (£2.5 million) – an increase of 23 per cent on the headline figure from 2013’s report.
The study also recorded an average cost per compromised record of $154 – up six per cent year on year from $145. In healthcare, the figure was as high as $363, while the retailer sector – which was the target of some of 2014’s most serious cyber attacks – registered a jump in cost per record from $105 to $165.
Commenting on the findings, Ponemon Institute founder Dr Larry Ponemon said there were “three major reasons why the cost keeps climbing”.
“First, cyber attacks are increasing both in frequency and the cost it requires to resolve these security incidents,” he asserted.
“Second, the financial consequences of losing customers in the aftermath of a breach are having a greater impact on the cost.
“Third, more companies are incurring higher costs in their forensic and investigative activities, assessments and crisis team management.”
The report also drew attention to the growing role of business continuity management in reducing the cost of a data breach, demonstrating how the ability to recover data and resume work after a destructive cyber attack is becoming a business must-have.
With the right breach remediation measures in place, organisations can expect to trim their average cost-per-record by $7.10, according to the Ponemon Institute.
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