Annual Cost of a Data Breach Report Shows Skyrocketing Costs


When you read about the aftereffects a company feels from a data breach, you will probably breathe a sigh of relief and thank your lucky stars you weren’t attacked by a cybercriminal. After reading IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report, you’ll probably be ready to find money in the annual budget to fortify your defenses.

The annual Cost of a Data Breach Report, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by IBM Security, analyzes data breach costs reported by 507 organizations across 16 geographies and 17 industries. The report discusses all the factors that influence the cost of a data breach and which security measures can help organizations reduce the financial impact.

This year’s key findings are staggering, to say the least:

  • The average total cost of a data breach is $3.92 million, a number that’s up 1.5 percent from 2018 and up 12 percent over the past five years.
  • Data breaches are most expensive in the United States, where the average cost is $8.19 million. That easily eclipses the next closest nation or region, the Middle East, by more than $2 million.
  • The healthcare industry experiences the most expensive breaches, averaging $6.45 million.
  • The average size of a data breach is 25,575 records.

For companies in the industrial sector, the average total cost of a data breach is $5.86 million, an increase of 3.4 percent from 2018. Each record costs industrial companies $160, which also increased by 5.1 percent from 2018. Industrial sector also is among the most vulnerable industries considering 57 percent of respondents had not deployed automation as of the time of the report.

No matter how you measure the costs of a data breach, the most important factor might be the abnormal turnover rate after the fact. For the industrial sector, a data breach led to a 3.3 percent abnormal turnover rate among clients.

The report doesn’t just focus on the negative, it also shares how taking action to prevent and mitigate data breaches can save companies big sums of money. For example, having an incident response team and encryption in place could potentially reduce the cost of a breach by $720,000. Also, the report state companies that had security automation technologies deployed experienced around half the cost of a breach ($2.65 million) compared to those that did not have these technologies deployed ($5.16 million).

Also, companies that have an incident response team as well as perform periodic incident response plan testing can save $1.23 million per data breach on average, according to the report.

Coming up with comprehensive security solutions to avoid data breaches or mitigate their effects on your operations is a large task. There’s no need your organization has to attempt this without help. 2W Tech has vast experience in the cybersecurity space. Contact us today.

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