Wary customers shun businesses after data breaches

UK costs still on rise, finds survey

Data breaches cost UK businesses more than ever last year, with most of the financial hit resulting from lost business in the aftermath of an incident, a Ponemon Institute survey for Symantec has found.

The average cost of a data breach for the 38 large businesses surveyed in 2010 Annual Study: UK Cost of a Data Breach was £1.9 million ($3.1 million), a 13 per cent rise from 2009, equivalent to about £71 per lost record.

Of this sum, 48 per cent can be attributed to 'abnormal customer churn' - customers that go elsewhere after hearing of the problem - while communicating with customers and resetting records is another 23 per cent. Non-commercial organisations such as those in the public sector were found to suffer lower customer costs.

The most expensive breach uncovered by the survey cost a company £6.2 million to recover from, while the smallest costing £336,000, with the number of records lost or stolen ranging from 6,900 to 72,000.

However representative a snapshot, Symantec and Ponemon describe the breach cost numbers as giving a good idea of what it costs a typical company to deal with large data breaches, defined as between 1,000 and 100,000 records.

The report presents the deeper causes of data breaches in a rather convoluted manner (some causes can be related to more than one category), although 'system breaches' (security failures inside a company) are named as the top cause with a frequency of 37 per cent of incidents, with third parties and negligence accounting for 34 per cent each.

Malicious and criminal attacks account for 29 per cent, but these are not surprisingly the most expensive to clear up at £80 per record.

"We continue to see an increase in the costs to businesses suffering a data breach," said Ponemon Institute founder, Dr. Larry Ponemon. "Regulators are cracking down to ensure organisations implement required data security controls or face harsher penalties. Confronted with both malicious and non-malicious threats from inside and outside the organisation, companies must proactively implement policies and technologies to mitigate the risk of costly breaches."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags symantecsecurityPonemon Institute

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E Dunn

Techworld

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?