The cost of data breaches can be very expensive for businesses. And unfortunately, data breaches are becoming an increasingly serious threat for all businesses today. With everyone from Yahoo to the U.S. Federal Government being hit, no organization is immune.

“Based on newly released findings from the Breach Level Index (BLI), there were 974 publicly disclosed data breaches in the first half of 2016, which led to the successful theft or loss of 554 million data records,” says Gemalto’s Andrew Gertz.

It’s clear a lot of data is being breached, but what is the actual cost of those breaches for businesses?

Here’s a look at how much security breaches actually cost companies.

The cost of data breaches

  • The average cost for each lost or stolen record in 2016 is $158. source
  • The total average consolidated costs of a data breach this year is $4 million. source
  • The U.S. and Germany have the highest average per capita cost of data breaches. source
  • The two most expensive industries in terms of data breaches in 2016 are healthcare ($355 per capita), followed by education ($246 per capita). source
  • Leveraging an incident response team could reduce the cost of a data breach by nearly $400,000 on average (or $16 per record). source
  • 59 per cent of the cost of a data breach was accounted for by response activities like incident forensics, communications, legal expenditures and regulatory mandates. source
  • Breaches that are identified in less than 100 days cost companies an average of $3.23 million while breaches that are found after the 100 day mark cost $4.38 million. source
  • The three most expensive types of security breaches are third-party failure, fraud by employees and cyber espionage. source
  • A downtime after a breach is the single most expensive potential consequence of an attack, costing up to $1.4 million USD for big companies. source
  • In May, Target updated the total costs of its 2013 dta breach to $291 million, while the eventual total could be $370 million. source
  • TalkTalk estimated their 2015 data breach, which affected 157,000 customers, cost them £80 million. source
  • Home Depot put the total cost of a 2014 breach, in which 40 million payment card accounts and 50 million email addresses were breached, at $161 million in March. source
  • Last year the British insurance company Lloyd’s estimated that cyber attacks were costing business up to $400 billion a year, including the cost of the direct damage and disruption after the attack. source
  • According to Juniper Research, data breaches will cost $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, almost four times the estimated cost in 2015. source
  • Data thefts cost UK businesses £6.2 billion in the past year according to a survey of business leaders conducting in July this year. source

Protect your business

Clearly data breaches are no laughing matter. With each potentially costing businesses millions of dollars and predicted to become even more expensive in the future, it’s imperative to protect yourself.

In addition to security software and audits, employee monitoring software is an excellent second line of defence. Software such as KnowIT can be installed remotely on each of your company devices and can monitor all of your employee’s apps, websites and communications.

The system can also be set to alert managers whenever sensitive files are accessed or copied. It’s a great way to ensure your staff aren’t doing anything to expose the company to risk and be alerted to any unauthorised data access. To learn more about KnowIT click here.

Have you experienced a data breach? If so, what was the effect?

Let us know in the comments section below.