IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

The Cost of Data Breaches

Knowing how much a data breach can cost your customers will help them understand why they need your DLP services. By Megan Santosus

How much money can data loss prevention (DLP) solutions save? The answer varies, of course, but the Ponemon Institute, a research organization dedicated to privacy, data protection, and information security policy in Traverse City, Mich., has at least put a price tag on data loss in its 2010 Annual Study: U.S. Cost of a Data Breach.

In conjunction with security software provider Symantec Corp. of Mountain View, Calif., the Ponemon Institute surveyed U.S.-based companies to determine the incidence and cost of data breaches. In 2010, the cost of breaches involving lost or stolen data-bearing mobile devices reached $258 per record, up 15 percent from 2009. According to the study, such breaches are consistently among the most expensive, due, the study posits, to lengthy and costly investigative and forensic activities—activities that could be simplified with discovery DLP.  

The cost of breaches due to negligence, which was responsible for 41 percent of all breaches, rose to $196 per record, a 27 percent increase over 2009. The study surmises that the negligence statistics indicate ongoing compliance challenges—a selling point for network and endpoint DLP.

As for costs attributed to data breaches? The study pegged lost business at an average price tag of $134 per record as the top problem, followed by $51 per record companies spent on victim response activities such as monitoring credit reports or issuing new accounts. Implementing DLP policies, practices, and technologies are among the study’s recommended actions.

For more information on DLP, check out our feature on DLP for SMBs.

About the Author

Megan Santosus's picture

Megan Santosus is a Boston-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to The ChannelPro Network.

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