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IBM, in partnership with the Ponemon Institute, has released its annual global study of data breach incidents. And the results may surprise anyone following the latest trends in cybersecurity.
Internationally, the average cost of a data breach has declined by approximately 10 percent between 2016 and 2017. At $3.62 million, this average represents the first reduction in trend for the past seven years. Unsurprisingly, the report has been picked up by a number of publications that are highlighting this particular statistic.
Don’t celebrate quite yet.
We encourage organizations to break down the numbers a bit further. Specifically, we suggest taking a closer look at the causes of the cost decline, its connection to other important measurements and the regulatory environments surrounding this shift.
Behind the Cost of Data Breach Study
The headline number decreased in part thanks to currency translations stemming from a stronger U.S. dollar. And in reviewing the nation-specific trends in data breach costs, IBM researchers found that European organizations’ responses to regulatory requirements drove a more dramatic reduction, factoring heavily into the decrease in the global average.
However, organizations in the United States bucked that trend, notching a 5 percent increase in the average cost for a data breach, compared to 2016. In other words, within the U.S., costs have hit a seven-year high rather than leveling out like they did in other areas of the world.
Healthcare companies, followed by financial services, ranked as the sectors with the heaviest financial burden.
Apart from the change in average data breach cost, IBM and the Ponemon Institute have revealed that the size of a typical data breach has also increased slightly (approximately 1.8 percent). The average breach currently affects around 24,000 records.
So while the headline figure from the 12th annual Cost of Data Breach Study signals positive news for global cybersecurity, the picture is far from rosy – especially if you’re in the U.S.
There is a glimmer of light within the data, however, for organizations establishing best practices in incident response. According to the study’s estimates, “having an Incident Response (IR) team in place significantly reduced the cost of a data breach, saving more than $19 per lost or stolen record.”
For information on how Lunarline can help you defend against cyber attacks and manage the cost of a breach, contact us online today.