Data Breach Costs in 2014 and 2015

The latest global data breach analysis, for years 2014 and 2015, shows a continuous, increasing cost to organizations affected by the data breach. The average consolidated total cost of a data breach has reached $3.8 million, representing a 23% increase since 2013. This research, conducted within the framework of the “Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis“ by the Michigan-based Ponemon Institute in cooperation with IBM, represents 350 organizations in 11 countries worldwide.

The cost incurred for each breached or stolen record has also grown, specifically from a consolidated average of $145 to $154, representing a 6% increase since the previously studied period. In the long term, the healthcare sector shows the highest cost incurred for each breached record, with its assessed $363 more than doubling the consolidated average. The notional second place belongs to the education sector with its average $300 for each breached record. The lowest cost, on the other hand, has been observed in transportation ($121) and the public sector ($68). Compared to the previously studied period, the retail sector shows the highest increase from $105 to $165.

The United States of America, with $217 per lost record, represent the highest data breach cost, a consistent ranking since the previous period. It is followed by Germany ($211 per record). India ($56 per record) and Brazil ($78 per record) show the lowest data breach cost among the 11 selected countries.

Despite the continuously increasing numbers, it is obvious that a number of organizations either underestimates the data breach threat or downright ignores it, even though we can see a gradual change for the better here, especially with large firms and corporations. On the other hand, it is fair to say that small and medium-size businesses systematically underestimate the data breach threat, including an industrial espionage, and by doing so facilitate the hackers’ work.