Data breach costs reach record highs

IBM Security announced last month, the results of a global study indicating new record costs per data breach incident - on average, $4.24 million per incident - the highest cost in the study's 17-year history.

Companies have been forced to quickly adapt their business to the current situation by moving to working remotely.

60% of organizations migrated their activities to the cloud, a solution that also generated some security problems since, companies that suffered a breach during a cloud migration had a cost 18.8% higher than the average. "Higher data breach costs are another expense for companies following the rapid technology changes implemented during the pandemic"said Chris McCurdy, vice president and general manager of IBM Security.

The study, conducted by the Ponemon Institute, and sponsored and analyzed by IBM Security, identified a number of trends among the organizations studied:

  • Impact of remote work:  The rapid shift to remote operations during the pandemic led to data breaches with a higher cost rate. 
  • Data breaches in industries that have faced the most profound operational changes have seen the greatest increase: The industries that have faced the most profound operational changes are the ones that have seen the greatest increase in data breach costs annually. Breaches in the healthcare sector are the most costly - they had a $2 million increase over the previous year.
  • Theft of user credentials: Personal customer information (name, email, password) was the most exposed - with 44% of all breaches. 82% of respondents admitted to reusing passwords, which made it easier to compromise information. 
  • Modern approaches reduced costs: The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI), security analytics, and encryption were the top three factors in reducing the cost of an incident, saving companies between $1.25 million and $1.49 million compared to those that did not use the tools. 


Source: and

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