Data Breach Costs Continue to Rise

Once again, it’s time to analyze the multitude of reports and surveys on data breaches and hacks from 2018. And, unfortunately, the trend for costs continues upward. According to the IBM/Ponemon Institute’s 2018 Cost of a Data Breach study, the cost of loss for an individual record rose from $225 to $233. An individual record is any amount of personal, non-public information on clients, employees, or any other person or entity. That includes Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), trade secrets, non-public financial information and generally anything deemed sensitive or private by any entity entrusting you with the information.

What may hit home for you more is the annual survey of small businesses by Kaspersky Labs. This survey measures actual costs as surveyed from business owners and decision makers. This year’s average cost of a data breach to a small business was measured at $120,000, up from $117,000 the previous year. This number is more generic and covers any data breach for any reason with all measurable costs involved.

What these values still can’t show is the loss of potential business and the loss of reputation, but we are starting the see those change in the more qualitative surveys of customer sentiment. Until recently, consumers have not been swayed away from breached business. New survey data shows that the constant stream of headlines may be changing that perception.

A study published in October 2018 by PCIpal states that 1 in 5 Americans would stop using a business forever after a data breach. Just over 4 in 5 would stop using that business for a period of time after a breach. We’ve seen large businesses recovering pretty successfully from breaches, but what we don’t always hear is the large sums of cash they pay to do so. This new survey just shows how much harder that may become for large and small businesses alike to convince customers that they can be trusted with their personal and private information once again.

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