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Can Your Company Afford to Spend $5.85 Million on a Data Breach?

With the recent data breaches in the retail sector and other industries, you may be wondering how likely it is that your organization will experience a similar incident. In its 2014 Cost of Data Breaches Study, the Ponemon Institute offers its best estimation, and the answer isn’t exactly comforting.

The probability that a company will experience a data breach involving at least 10,000 records in the next two years is approximately 22%. In other words, more than one out of five organizations will have to deal with the impacts of an incident.

According to the Ponemon’s group’s study, the average total cost of a breach among U.S. employers is a staggering $5.85 million, which equals approximately $201 per compromised record. Following an incident, customer loyalty also often takes a turn downward. And the resulting financial turmoil has been known to shutter the doors of unprepared businesses.

A data breach doesn’t have to be a death sentence, though. With an incident response program to aid in remediation, organizations are able to significantly reduce the cost of breaches. According to the Ponemon study, the average reduction worldwide is about $8.98 per record.  And successful programs with real-time detection and response can lessen the blow even further.

In pursuing a risk management and response program, it is critical for security leadership to focus on process over technology. As a recent article in the Wall Street Journal explains, cyber attackers move quickly in developing persistent threats, therefore it’s necessary for security departments to remain flexible and implement improvements to keep their defenses current.

Even with the most sophisticated systems in place, breaches can and do occur. But with the right plan and support in place, an organization can be successful in minimizing the impact of data breaches.

Lunarline has worked with numerous firms in the private and public sectors to improve their incident response and overall security governance. And we can help your organization tighten processes, gain executive support and oversight, and implement best practices to meet your security goals. To learn more about our incident response, security governance and additional cyber security solutions, visit lunarline.com or contact us today.

About Spence Witten

Spence has somehow survived ten years at start-ups and small businesses without suffering a (major) nervous breakdown. As Lunarline's Director of Federal Sales, Spence actually loves working on proposals. If there were any doubt, this is proof that he is in fact certifiably insane. While his title says "Sales" Lunarline doesn't let him off that easy. We make him do real work, too. Luckily he's a recognized subject matter expert in security policy and loves helping clients navigate their way around tricky security compliance standards. He's also been known to lead a software development initiative or two, though that pretty much always ends poorly for everyone involved. He can be reached at spence.witten@lunarline.com.