The real cost of a security breach

Security breaches are becoming increasingly common, but many people are unaware of how much damage is really done in a security incident. This infographic from Zepko does a great job of demonstrating exactly how much security breaches cost companies today, and how important it is to be prepared. Click the thumbnail to view the full size infographic.

The cost of a security breach

Let’s look at the average cost of a data breach – at the moment, it’s £2.3 million. In 2012, that figure was £2.21 million. So where do these costs come from?

To start with, there is a wide range of expenses incurred after a security incident. Communications, assessments and audits, and crisis team management are not cheap. Add the cost of forensic and investigative activities to be conducted by security experts and the cost of detecting and dealing with the threat in the first place, and you’ve got a big bill.

Where do the other costs come from? Well, as Zepko demonstrates, notifying the people whose details were stolen costs an average of £173,790. This figure covers the price of creating a database of people who need to be reached and the charges incurred in doing so. It also encompasses hiring outside consultants to manage the situation, along with other experts who can tell the company in question exactly how to stay in line with regulations.

It’s worth noting that the cause of a breach makes a huge difference to how much it costs per record. A criminal attack is the most expensive, with a price tag of £125 per lost record. Human error, which is responsible for 40% of data breaches, costs £93. System glitches are relatively cheap in comparison, costing £80 per record.

All of the people hired to deal with a breach are trained professionals, and they are able to charge a premium for their work. There is no “cheap” way to handle a security incident. If a company tried to find one it would be a PR nightmare; and that brings us to the greatest cost of all. Companies that have been breached lose an average of £1,000,100 in revenue as a result. This figure represents the cost of lost customers, diminished trust and goodwill, and the need to recoup the business that has gone by gaining new clients. Even in a day and age where cyber attacks are commonplace, individuals who trust organisations with their details are wholly unforgiving when there is even a chance that their information has been unlawfully accessed. And really, who can blame them?

If you want to avoid an expensive breach, the best thing to do is implement prevention tactics now. If you don’t have the latest anti-malware software and security protocols in place, you are leaving your business wide open to extensive costs and reputational damage. For more information on website security, contact us now.