Cost of Data Breaches Continues to Rise, Finance and Healthcare Targeted

February 20, 2019 | Filed Under: SecuritySecurity News

According to a study from security researchers at the Ponemon Institute, the frequency and cost of data breaches in the United States are on a steady increase.

Taking into account factors from regulator fines to the loss of reputation and customers, the researches assessed that the cost of data breaches incurred by healthcare businesses was the highest, with financial companies a close second. Due to more stringent rules around medical and financial information, and the greater sensitivity of the information itself, the total cost per record stolen was $380 and $336 respectively, whereas the cost to the retail sector was “only” $177 for each account stolen.

Two recent examples from the finance sector that stand out are the Equifax breach of 2017 and that suffered by JP Morgan in 2014. In the case of credit rating agency Equifax, nearly 150 million records were stolen, many of which contained extremely sensitive financial information. Equifax disclosed in an earnings call that the total cost may exceed $439 million, of which only $125 million is covered by insurance.

In 2014, Israeli criminals stole 83 million customer data entries from JPMorgan Chase & Co. in what was, at the time, considered to be among the largest hacks in history. Though only names, addresses and other “public” information were taken, and information such as social security numbers and passwords were not retrieved by the attackers, concerns of targeted “spearfishing” in order to gain further information from those affected remains a concern.

With the risk of a data breach steadily rising, are you doing enough to protect your data?

While no company can afford to be lax about security, if your business handles data subject to strict privacy laws you must take every precaution — or pay the price.

Not only is the cost of a breach significantly higher, but the data contained in these records makes them the most attractive targets for cybercriminals. In fact, financial firms may face attacks at a rate 300 times higher than other types of businesses.

If you are working with sensitive financial records or customer data, an integrated and automated monitoring, auditing and mitigation solution can take your security to the next level.

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