Average data security breach costs millions

Security breachIt has been estimated that the average cost of a data security breach is now in the region of $4 million.

In 2015, this figure was estimated to be $3.79 million, and now the average cost per piece of data stolen is $158. An industry analysis entitled ‘2016 Cost of a Data Breach Study: Global Analysis’ looked at nearly 400 companies in 12 different countries. Each had suffered a data security breach with a minimum of 3000 compromised records. Some had more than 100,000 compromised records.

The study has shown that the average company has a 26% risk of a material data breach that affects at least 10,000 records. It also showed that companies in South Africa or Brazil are the most likely to be affected by a breach of this size, while those in Germany and Australia are the least likely.

Healthcare organisations are reporting the costliest breaches, with the average cost per record at $355. The education sector is in second place at a cost of $246. Half of the reported breaches are the result of work by hackers, and the average cost per record to put this right was $170. The US pays out the most per record to put right the effects of a malicious attack at $236.

Companies that have an incident response team in place have a lower cost of resolution, by an average of $16 per record. It is also reported that the cost of employee training can bring down the cost by a further $9. Other factors that can reduce the cost include involvement at board level and insurance protection.