Attacks/Breaches
3/7/2011
06:09 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Data Breach Costs Continue Climbing

Some of that cost may be unnecessary, a study has found.

The average cost of a data breach for a U.S. company continues to rise, having reached $7.2 million in 2010.

This represents an increase of 7% from 2009, when the average cost was found to be $6.8 million, according to Symantec which published "2010 Annual Study: U.S. Cost of a Data Breach," and the Ponemon Institute, which conducted the research.

The cost of losing data has grown for U.S. companies every year since 2006.

Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute, says that there was one unusual finding: A rapid response to a breach, which generally involves notifying everyone potentially affected, turns out to be more costly than a slow response.

Increasingly sophisticated data security threats and compliance pressures are pushing organizations to respond as rapidly as possible to data breaches. This is reflected in the finding that malicious attacks have become the most costly cause of breaches. But responding quickly to a breach may not be called for in every instance.

This isn't to say a slow response is always good; rather, it reflects the survey's finding that rapid notification can be a waste of money if subsequent investigation indicates some of those notified were not affected after all.

"In the world of data breaches, telling people your data is lost or stolen and then having to change that doesn't help anyone," said Ponemon in a phone interview.

Quick responders paid $268 per record, an increase of 22% from 2009, while organizations that took more time paid $174 per record, a decrease of 11% from 2009.

Symantec has created an online data breach calculator to help companies assess the potential cost and likelihood of a data breach. Not coincidentally, Symantec sells security solutions, particularly those focused on encryption.

Encryption has become more popular lately because data breach regulations often exempt companies from notification requirements if the lost data was encrypted.

This trend is partially reflected in the survey, which found: an increase in the number of organizations with an "above average IT security posture"; a decrease in breaches due to system failure, lost or stolen devices, and third-party mistakes; and more companies responding faster and putting CISOs in charge of response management.

Negligence remains the most common cause of breach incidents (41%), followed by lost or stolen portable or mobile devices (35%), malicious attacks (31%), and system failure (27%).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "Why else would HR ask me if I have a handicap?"
Current Issue
The Changing Face of Identity Management
Mobility and cloud services are altering the concept of user identity. Here are some ways to keep up.
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio

The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.