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Causes and Effects of Data Breaches

Anyone who regularly reads newspapers or watches television news does not need to be told that data breaches are serious and prevalent issues. They are reported on frequently, often in ominous tones.

The concern is warranted. According to IBM-sponsored research by Ponemon Institute, in 2016 the average cost of a data breach was $216 for each lost or stolen record that included sensitive and confidential information. The average total cost for the organization as a whole was $7.01 million per incident. And, these aren’t merely a few isolated occurrences. There were 1,093 reported data breaches in 2016 in the United States alone.

Clearly, the total cost for an organization varies depending on its size and the magnitude of the breach, but it can represent a material portion of annual revenue.

And, keep in mind that many of the victim companies already had some level of data security in place—and, in many cases, a high level. The consequences could have been even direr without it.

As familiar as you may be with these news stories and statistics, it is still important to take a step back and ensure you are familiar with exactly what data breaches are, what causes them, the costs your organization might incur as a result of them, and how you can prevent them. This white paper presents a high-level overview of these topics.