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The Cost of a Data Breach

At eXate we are a big advocate of data privacy, we understand the repercussions if not tackled properly. Let's walk through the costs behind a data breach and why data privacy is important.


The IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report (2022) notes that the cost of a breach is reaching an all-time high, with the cost of a breach averaging USD 4.35 million in 2022, which is up 12.7% from the 2020 report and a 2.6% increase from 2021, when the average cost of a breach was USD 4.35 million.

Drilling down further, the top five countries and regions with the highest average cost of a data breach were the United States at USD 9.44 million, the Middle East at USD 7.46 million, Canada at USD 5.64 million, the United Kingdom at USD 5.05 million and Germany at USD 4.85 million. The United States has led the list for 12 years in a row.

From an industry perspective, Healthcare breach costs hit a new record high. The average breach in healthcare increased by nearly USD 1 million to reach USD 10.10 million. Healthcare breach costs have been the most expensive industry for 12 years running, increasing by 41.6% since the 2020 report. Financial organisations had the second highest costs, averaging USD 5.97 million. Followed by pharmaceuticals at USD 5.01 million, technology at USD 4.97 million and energy at USD 4.72 million.

These numbers can be quite misleading, however, as the size of a breach grows. High profile breaches of over one million records, called “mega breaches'' have a disproportionate impact on cost. Once the number of records breached exceeds 1 million, the cost increases tenfold to $49 million. As you exceed 30 million records breached, the cost increases to $316 million, and as you exceed 50 million records breaches the cost rises to $387 million.

The Importance of Data Privacy

By taking a look at the statistics related to the cost of a data breach, it is clear why data privacy is important. The Cisco 2023 Data Privacy Benchmark Study shows that the economics and importance of privacy remain strong. The report highlights that privacy continued to be a critical business driver for organisations around the world in 2022, with the vast majority of survey respondents confirming the value and importance of privacy. Ninety-five percent (95%) of respondents said privacy is a business imperative, up from 90% last year. Ninety-four percent (94%) said their customers would not buy from them if their data was not properly protected, up from 90% a year ago, and 95% said privacy is an integral part of their organisations’ culture, up from 92%. Ninety-six percent (96%) agreed they have an ethical obligation to treat data properly, up from 92% in last year’s survey.

So with this in mind, don’t become a statistic, eXate your data!


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