U.S. Leads World In Total Cost Of Data Breaches

The United States is setting a slew of data breach records in 2017, none of which organizations should be happy about.

In a study by the Ponemon Institute, the United States saw an increase in the total number of breaches it faced in 2017, and saw the average cost of the breach rise by about 10% compared to the previous four-year average.

Interestingly, the overall cost of a data breach globally fell from $4 million to $3.62 million, and total cost for a lost or stolen record containing sensitive data dropped significantly from $158 to $141. Despite those declining figures, the overall size of a data breach rose 1.8% year over year. Those figures are global averages, however, as the U.S. upped its four-year average of $216 per record to $225 per record – nearly 60% more than the cost of a sensitive record across the world.

The same goes for overall cost, as the U.S. steamed ahead of the globe and its own four-year average. While the worldwide average dropped $380,000, the U.S. rose from $6.69 million to $7.35 million – a 9.9% increase, and a 103% margin between itself and the rest of the world.

Ponemon added four new factors to its cost analysis, which includes mobility’s influence on how data breaches occur and what they cost enterprises. Among the analysis changes were compliance failures, extensive use of mobile platforms, CPO appointment, and use of security analytics.

“The appointment of a CPO reduced the cost by $3,” the report said. “The deployment of security analytics saved $7 per compromised record. However, the extensive use of mobile platforms and compliance failures increased the cost per compromised record by $9 and $11 per compromised record, respectively.”

So where does the data cost the most? The study revealed healthcare and financial services records had the highest price tags, at $380 and $245 respectively. Forms of a breach were broken down into three sectors : malicious or criminal attack; system glitch; and human error. In the U.S., 52% of breaches occurred by malicious or criminal attack; 24% by system glitch; and 24% by human error.

Mobility is growing as an enterprise threat vector, and IT administrators and decision-makers need to begin addressing the issue before it grows any further.

As previously reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, about 3% of enterprise mobile devices are infected by malware, with the company spending up to 13% of its total IT budget just to triage a widespread mobile malware infection.

While the overall cost to recoup a company’s records seems high, its brand recognition and ensuing damage from a data breach can cost much more in the long run. In previous studies, 87% of consumers said they were either “not very likely” or “not likely at all” to do business with a company that had financial information breached. Keeping an enterprise’s data secure impacts the bottom line today and for years to come.

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