10 statistics that show the cost of a data breach to companies
How many businesses are ready to pony up several million in additional expenses this year? If history is any indicator, hundreds of companies will need to face the reality of cleaning up after a data breach before this time next year.
While a data breach costs a company millions on average, the toll can extend even further than just cleanup. Beyond Identity collected figures and statistics from IBM's 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report to understand how data breaches impacted companies and consumers. For the report, IBM conducted more than 3,000 interviews at 550 organizations that experienced a data breach.
A breach can cost the affected business $4.1 million on average globally. A data breach in the U.S. costs $9.44 million on average—the highest of any country in the world.
Billions of dollars in investments poured into cybersecurity startups in 2020, as companies began allowing employees to work from home for public health reasons. Demand for remote authentication rose as more workers logged in from multiple locations. Investors weren't just betting on a remote work future—the case for heightened IT security had already been made prior to the pandemic.
The number of companies hit by hackers looking to steal data increased significantly during the decade preceding COVID-19's arrival in the U.S.—and that trend is continuing. With less than five months remaining, 2022 is already shaping up to be a marquee year for cyberattacks.
Remediation of servers and IT equipment after a breach can be costly. A data breach can also trigger government fines and legal fees in addition to actual costs. ut businesses also have to quantify the intangible losses to their reputations that could spread from a data breach.
If a thief gets away with intellectual property, the targeted business could lose its competitive edge in the market. The theft could also cause a loss of revenue for months or even years afterward. Data breaches impact a company's brand as well. Minneapolis-based retail giant Target not only had to pay an $18.5 million settlement as a result of its infamous breach of credit card data in 2013, but it also had to worry about the subsequent damage to its reputation that executives pointed to for slumping sales.
The costs that accrue from these attacks are myriad, and companies' vulnerabilities are only increasing as more businesses move operations online and to the cloud. With tensions between the U.S. and countries like Russia, North Korea, and China heating up, threat levels will likely remain heightened. U.S. House Rep. Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan recently triggered cyberattacks said to have originated in China. And Iran and entities related to the Islamic Republic have been conducting ransomware attacks against U.S. organizations since late 2020, according to cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike's latest report on global cyberthreats.
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