Data Breach Costs: What is the True Cost of Fraud?

Data breaches are expensive for banks, merchants, and consumers, but just how costly are they? A new report from Ponemon Institute breaks down today’s security landscape in its new ‘Cost of Data Breach Study’. We pulled out some of the highlights and interesting facts below.

Let’s start with the good news…The study shows the global average cost of a data breach is $3.62 million – down 10% compared to previous years. The not so good news? The average size of the data breach, according to this research, increased 1.8%.

The cost of a breach is dependent on many factors, including location. There were significant increases in the cost for organizations in the Middle East, United States and Japan, while organizations in Germany, France, Australia and the UK reduced costs associated with responding to and remediating the breach.  

Global Impact:

Data breaches are the most expensive in the U.S and Canada

  • In the U.S. the average cost of a breach was $225 vs. $190 in Canada. On the flipside, data breaches are the least expensive in Brazil ($79) and India ($64).

The cost of a breach depends on the industry

  • The average global cost of a breach per stolen record was $141. Healthcare organizations had the highest average cost at $380, followed by financial services ($245), media ($119), research ($101) and public sector ($71).

The U.S spends the most on post data breach responses

  • Post data breach responses includes help desk activities, inbound communications remediation, regulatory interventions, etc. The U.S comes in at the top with the highest costs associated with breach mitigation efforts while the Middle East followed closely behind.  

Detection and Escalation

  • The faster you catch the breach, the lower the cost. Organizations reduced the days to identify the data breach from an average of approximately 201 in 2016 to 191 days. The average days to contain the data breach from 70 to 66 days. Costs associated with detecting and escalating data breaches are the highest in Canada and the lowest in Brazil.

More records lost, the higher the breach costs

  • Unsurprisingly, the average total cost of the breach depends on the size of the incident. In this year’s study, the average total cost ranged from $1.9 million for incidents with less than 10,000 compromised records to $6.3 million for incidents with more than 50,000 compromised records

Hackers and criminal attacks biggest cause of breaches

  • About ½ of organizations from the report identified the cause of a breach as a criminal attack with the average cost at $156. On the other end, human error account for $126 while system glitches cost $128 per record.

Organizations across the globe face the continuous threat of data breaches and hacks each year. But as the report shows, the cost of a breach is dependent on many factors and differs for each organization across different sectors.

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