What is the True Cost of a Data Breach?

Data breaches happen more often than you think. They occur so regularly that many people become desensitized to them. However, protecting your company’s data and information is never something you should leave to chance. The cost of data breaches is extensive and has wide-reaching effects on your customers, your business, and your reputation. There are steps you can take to help mitigate your company’s risks of a data breach so that you don’t needlessly become a victim.

Cost of Data Breach is Going Up

The number of records stolen from companies is going up each year – along with the global average cost of data breaches too. A recent study from IBM reported the average cost (globally) of a data breach is now at 3.86 million, and the average for a single stolen record that contains confidential and sensitive information is up to $148. The healthcare industry, once again, has the highest data breach cost at $408 per compromised record (almost three times the average).

Plus, this study also found that “mega breaches” (1 million to 50 million records compromised) cost companies anywhere between $40 to $350 million each with the largest expense category being cost related to lost business. And, within the past five years, the number of these “mega breaches” has almost doubled.


The Impact of a Data Breach

One of the most concerning aspects of all of this is that data breach detection can take a company a long time to discover and fix. The study found that on average, it takes 197 days to realize that a data breach has occurred. Then, it takes an additional 69 days to contain the breach, and a lot of damage can occur within that amount of time.

So, once a breach happens, companies that contain it can quickly save more money. Cybersecurity monitoring tools and technology can make a big difference in how much an organization ends up paying in the end to resolve their data breach.


How to Minimize Risks of a Data Breach

Every business, no matter how big or small can become a target of a cybercrime. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to mitigate your risk of becoming a victim. First, make sure that cybersecurity becomes part of your company’s culture. Have your employees notify you immediately if something doesn’t look right and advise them never to share their passwords.

Having an identity-access system or a two-factor authentication process can also provide you with added protection, and it helps to ensure that those trying to access your information are authorized to do so. Also, limiting people’s access to specific systems and restricting their downloading abilities helps prevent the transfer of your sensitive data.

Additionally, establishing regular and ongoing security measures like vulnerability and penetration testing helps to monitor your systems so you can fix problems before they happen, and stop hackers in their tracks. You might also want to consider purchasing cyber insurance to keep your company protected too.

At Cyber Underwriters, we can help you develop risk management solutions perfectly customized for your unique needs.

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