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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags symantecPonemon Institute

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

John E Dunn

Techworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?