Cost of data breaches in the US doubles


International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) has released the results of a new study conducted to understand the financial impact of data breaches on organisations.

According to the study:

  1. The cost of a data breach has risen by 12% over the past 5 years
  2. Average data breach cost per annum is now $3.92 million
  3. Companies with less than 500 employees suffer losses of more than $2.5 million on average – a potentially crippling amount for businesses earning $50 million or less in annual revenue
  4. In South Africa, R43.3 million is the average cost of data breach (21 SA companies were surveyed), 52% of breaches result from malicious or criminal attacks
  5. 67% of data breach costs are realised within the first year after a breach, 22% accrued in the second year and another 11% accumulated more than two years after a breach globally
  6. The average lifecycle of a breach is 279 days with companies taking 206 days to first identify a breach after it occurs and an additional 73 days to contain the breach
  7. US data breaches cost has doubled to $8.19 million
  8. Breach response remains the biggest cost saver
  9. Practice makes perfect
  10. Data breaches cost companies around $150 per record that was lost or stolen
  11. Middle East has the highest average number of breached records

Wendi Whitmore, Global Lead for IBM X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Services, said: “Cybercrime represents big money for cybercriminals, and unfortunately that equates to significant losses for businesses.

“With organisations facing the loss or theft of over 11.7 billion records in the past 3 years alone, companies need to be aware of the full financial impact that a data breach can have on their bottom line – and focus on how they can reduce these costs.”

The report is based on in-depth interviews with more than 500 companies around the world that suffered a breach over the past year.

Click here to view the full report.