The High Costs of Data Security (Updated)

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Data security problems come in all shapes and sizes. Some are malicious, while others are just human error. Regardless of the nature of the problem, data leaks can be devastating to businesses. Here are some key findings from the 2018 Ponemon Institute report that show just how harmful data leaks can be.

  • Malicious attacks are on the rise. The majority of data leaks used to be from human error or system glitches, but now 48% of data leaks are criminal attacks, 27% are human error, and 25% are system glitches.
  • Criminal attacks cost more. Malicious attacks aren’t only more common than ever, they also cost more than ever. The average cost of a record lost because of a criminal attack is $157. Compare that to system glitches costing $131 per record, and human error or negligence at $128 per record.
  • Executives are paying more attention to data security. Seventy-nine percent of C-level executives say achieving an effective incident response to a data breach involves executive level participation.
  • Costs are continuing to increase. The cost of a data breach has increased since last year, from $3.52 million to $3.86 million, and the cost per record has increased from $145 to $148.

Just over the course of a year: 

  • The average cost of a data breach increased by 6.4% — from $3.62 to $3.86 million
  • The average cost per stolen record increased by 4.8% — from $141 to $148
  • All data breaches within this covered in this study increase by 2.2% over the course a year 

A data breach, whether from a well-meaning employee or a hacker with less than honorable intentions, can cost a company big time. The best time to prepare for a data leak is before one ever happens.