For the 14th consecutive year, IBM Security released its annual Data Breach Report that examines the financial impact of data breaches on organizations.

According to the report, the cost of a data breach has risen 12% over the past 5 years to $3.92 million per incident on average. These rising expenses are representative of the multi-year financial impact of breaches, increased regulation and the complex process of resolving criminal attacks.

The report is based on in-depth interviews with more than 500 companies around the world who experienced a data breach between July 2018 and April 2019. This research takes into account many cost factors, ranging from legal to regulatory to technical activities, not to mention costs that might result from a loss of brand equity, customer turnover and a subsequent drain on employee productivity.

The report shows IT professionals, business leaders, researchers and the broader security community that though the consequences of data breaches are severe, there are concrete ways organizations can mitigate costs and improve overall security posture.

Cost of a Data Breach Highlights

The 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report findings are consistent with preceding years of the study. The United States has (again) the highest average total cost of a data breach at $8.19 million, more than twice the global average. Healthcare was again the most expensive industry for data breach costs, with the total cost of a data breach in 2019 averaging $6.45 million.

The financial consequences of a data breach can be particularly acute for small and mid-size businesses. In the study, companies with less than 500 employees suffered losses of more than $2.5 million on average, which accounts for approximately $3,533 per employee. Thus, smaller organizations have higher costs relative to their size than larger organizations, which can (Read more...)