Data breaches are more expensive, and more annoying, than ever

Data breaches are costlier and more impactful than ever before, a wide-ranging study by IBM has found.

Surveying 550 organizations from all over the world, the company claims that the global average cost of a data breach has now hit $4.35 million – an all-time high, and  up 13% compared to the same period two years ago.

However, it’s not just the affected businesses that feel the sting of a data breach – everyone else does, too, albeit passively. IBM says that there is a chance that the rising costs of goods and services could be tied back to these incidents, as well. The company bases these conclusions on the fact that almost two-thirds (60%) of the respondents claimed to have raised the prices of their products or services, due to a data breach. 

Paying ransomware doesn’t pay

What’s more, if a company suffers one data breach, it’s bound to suffer another. More than four in five (83%) have experienced more than just one breach in their lifetime, the report found. Then, there are also the after-effects of breaches: almost half (50% of breach costs are incurred more than a year after the initial incident).

The report also states that businesses that suffer a ransomware attack and decide to pay up for their data, don’t usually end up with lower breach costs, compared to those that don’t. Ransomware victims that decided to pay saw only $610,000 less in average breach costs, and that’s not including the cost of the ransom. 

For IBM, having an antivirus solution will not suffice, anymore.

“Businesses need to put their security defenses on the offense and beat attackers to the punch. It’s time to stop the adversary from achieving their objectives and start to minimize the impact of attacks. The more businesses try to perfect their perimeter instead of investing in detection and response, the more breaches can fuel cost of living increases.” said Charles Henderson, Global Head of IBM Security X-Force. “This report shows that the right strategies coupled with the right technologies can help make all the difference when businesses are attacked.”

IBM’s report suggests that Zero Trust is the way to go. However, 80% of critical infrastructure organizations said they did not adopt the practice across their endpoints just yet, despite the fact that they’re paying an average of $1.17 million more for data breaches, compared to those with Zero Trust. 

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