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Data Breach Report: Healthcare Ranks Highest In Stolen Record Cost

May 29, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The average total cost of a data breach on an organization is $3.8 million, representing a 23 percent increase since 2013, according to a new report from Ponemon Institute, sponsored by IBM.
The study looked at 350 companies spanning 11 countries, and also found that the average cost incurred for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information increased six percent from a consolidated average of $145 to $154. Healthcare emerged as the industry with the highest cost per stolen record with the average cost for organizations reaching as high as $363.
Earlier this month, Ponemon’s fifth annual survey about privacy and security issues facing healthcare organizations found that the No. 1 root cause of their data breaches was criminal and malicious attacks, surpassing mistakes and employee negligence, with criminal attacks up 125 percent compared to five years ago.
"Based on our field research, we identified three major reasons why the cost keeps climbing," Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute, said in a statement. “First, cyberattacks are increasing both in frequency and the cost it requires to resolve these security incidents. Second, the financial consequences of losing customers in the aftermath of a breach are having a greater impact on the cost. Third, more companies are incurring higher costs in their forensic and investigative activities, assessments and crisis team management."


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