Globally, the impact of a data breach on an organization averages $3.86 million, though more serious “mega breaches” can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. IBM’s 2018 Cost of a Data Breach study was formulated through interviews with more than 2,200 IT, data protection and compliance professionals from 477 companies and it provides an interesting insight into one of the most serious problems facing companies today.
The potential cost of an incident depends on several factors with the financial impact rising in line with the number of records stolen. On average, each record costs $148 and a breach of 1 million records costs $40 million while a breach of 50 million costs $350 million. The research also found that the efficiency in identifying an incident and the speed of the response has a huge impact on its overall cost. On average, it took companies 197 days to identify a data beach and 69 days to contain it.
The average total costs of a data breach also varied heavily between countries with the United States the hardest hit. In 2018, an average incident costs U.S. firms $7.91 million while in Canada and Germany, the impact is lower at less than $5 million. Indian and Brazilian companies have the lowest average cost of a data breach at $1.77 million and $1.24 million respectively.