What’s the cost of data breaches in 2019? Is the cost of data breaches increasing? These are not easy questions to answer, as the answer generally depends on what country and industry the breach occurs in.
Recent figures suggest that the cost of data breaches in 2019 range from anywhere between $1.25 million to $8.19 million.
Cybersecurity is a difficult topic to get accurate measurables for, especially because every week seems to bring news of some enormous new data breach or non-compliance fine being issued to enterprise organizations. So, I would take any of the numbers in this article with a pinch of salt.
However, according to the Ponemon Institute and IBM’s annual “Cost of a Data Breach” report, which is likely what most people will be referring to on this topic, having a data breach in 2019 is likely to cost you $3.29 million.
This figure of $3.29 million represents the highest average cost of a data breach over the last five years (excluding 2016, which clocked in at a staggering $4 million per breach). The average cost of a breach in 2019 works out at $150 per record.
How Was This Figure Calculated?
The report from IBM and the Ponemon Institute consists of 77 pages of information and collates data breach reports from 507 organizations across 17 industries in 16 countries; including the USA, UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The report pulls together interviews with members of these organizations and data on the size of breaches (in terms of the number of records lost or stolen), how effective the companies were at responding to the breach, and how business was impacted post-breach.
Can You Reduce the Cost of a Data Breach?
There are certainly some things you can do to mitigate the cost of a data breach, and a few of these are explicitly recommended by the report. For example, the report states that if you had an incident response team in place and encrypted your data, you reduced the cost of a breach by $720,000.
There are other things that can significantly reduce the cost of a breach as well, including deploying automated security technologies such as Data Security Platforms, which on average halved the cost of each breach.
The USA Struggles in 2019
The cost of a data breach in the USA is dramatically more than any other country measured in the study at $8.19 million (compared with the Middle Each who came in second at $5.97 million). This is more than twice the global average.
Healthcare is the Most at Risk of a Costly Breach
This may come as no surprise, and it continues a trend of the last few years, as the healthcare industry experiences the costliest data breaches. This is partly down to the fact that healthcare records are worth on average $429 per record, making them a very attractive target for attackers. Healthcare organizations also take the longest to identify breaches (up to 236 days).
With the Help of Lepide
At Lepide, we wanted to help organizations be better prepared for detecting and preventing data breaches, as well as helping to reduce the cost of a breach should the worst happen. Organizations can use LepideAuditor, an automated Data Security Platform, to find out where their most sensitive data is, see who has access to it and spot anomalous user behavior. Using LepideAuditor, you will be able to detect the signs of a data breach and take action before the damages are realized. Should the worst happen, LepideAuditor will help you easily determine which data was involved in the breach and the likely source of the attack.