Ponemon benchmarks business data breach costs

Ponemon benchmarks business data breach costs

Lost business accounts for more than a third of the costs incurred by companies following a significant data breach, with financal services firms among the biggest losers, according to research by the Ponemon Institute.

Breaches included in the Symantec-sponsored benchmarking exercise ranged from 2500 to more than 125,000 records from 21 UK businesses spanning eight different industry sectors.

The study found that the average total cost of a data breach ranged from £84,000 to almost £3.8 million, with an average of £47 per record compromise. However, the cost to financial services organisations was more than 17% higher than average, at £55 per record compromised. Customers suffering a breach were also found to have experienced an 'abnormal' customer churn rate, 2.5% higher than average immediately following a breach.

Joseph Ansanelli, vice president of data loss prevention solutions, Symantec notes: "The fact that more than a third of breaches result from data being shared with third parties in the normal course of business is a clear signal that organisations should examine how they are sharing their customers' data with outsourcers, vendors, and partners."

The importance of encryption technologies to protect digital data was also emphasised by the fact that thirty-six per cent of data breaches resulted from lost and stolen laptops or other mobile devices

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