Average Cost of Data Breach Increases to $4M in 2016

Data breaches are no joke, they bring real risks & serious quantifiable costs. A data breach is a security incident in which sensitive or confidential information is copied, transmitted or stolen by an unauthorized party. This data can be anything from credit card records, PHI (Personal Health Info), or vital trade secrets or IP (Intellectual Property.) It seems a day doesn’t pass without a major data breach in the news. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, data breaches nearly doubled from 2014-2015. Over that same period the costs of these breaches also escalated. According to Ponemon’s recent 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study, the risks and costs of a data breach are increasing. The report surveyed a wide range of 383 companies in different countries and industries. Its findings are quite staggering:

  • The average cost of a data breach increased from $3.79 to $4 million.
  • Average cost for each individual lost or stolen record containing sensitive or confidential information increased to $158 per record.
  • Healthcare organizations had a much higher cost per record with a data breach. They suffered more than double the cost $355 per record. This followed by retail at $172/record and transportation at $129/record
  • Insider threats and cybercriminals were the crux of most breaches overall and accounted for more than half of the incidents.
  • The study puts the likelihood of a material data breach involving 10,000 lost or stolen records in the next 24 months at 26 percent.

Data Breach Takeaways

Data breaches are on the rise and with it the associated costs. Only careful, measured planning can we reduce the risks and costs of a data breach. Gone are the days of simplistic security thinking that a firewall and anti-malware are a cure all solution. A well conceived defense in depth strategy for technology people and process should be the norm. This layered and comprehensive effort to address risk can dramatically reduce your risk exposure. Are you ready? If not, we can help. Contact Evolutionary IT to learn more. In future posts we will explore in detail a strategy for defending against data breaches. Join our newsletter to assure you get the latest updates on our blog.

2 thoughts on “Average Cost of Data Breach Increases to $4M in 2016”

  1. Great post! Man that Target breach still haunts me. Target got off the hook by reportedly paying $39 million dollars. The crazy thing was finding out how the breach happened. From one of the more creditable stories on the web. They had a open wireless network for everyone to use. Customers, Contractors, and Company devices were all sharing the same open wifi which screams trouble. So the way around that for target was to get a designated wifi signal for their company devices, and another free wifi for customers.

  2. Scary stats! Quiet a few years ago, when it was still legal in Australia to store credit card information of (repeat) customers, a company I worked for had their system hacked and all this information was stolen. I believe a few customers had money taken from their account and it was a huge disaster for both the company and customers.

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