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[ISN] How much does a data breach cost UK companies?
By John Oates
25th February 2008
Data breaches cost UK companies an average of 47 for every record lost.
This means the average cost to a company which suffers a data breach is
1.4m. The Ponemon Institute isn't pulling these figures out of the ether
- it talked to 21 UK companies about how much actual data breaches cost
>From a total of 47 per record, the cost from lost business in the wake
of a data disaster is 36 per cent or 17. Financial services companies
are particularly at risk - their average costs per record are 55.
Customer expectations of trust mean they also suffer a higher cost of
Phillip Dunkelberger, CEO at PGP Corporation, told The Reg: "Companies
are increasingly waking up to the real cost of data losses, especially
the cost of losing customers. It is a serious global problem with no
Both PGP and Symantec, who co-sponsored the study, believe some kind of
data notification law - where companies are obliged to tell a third
party when a breach occurs - could help.
Ponemon estimates customer churn rates to go up by an average of 2.5 per
cent after a data loss, but the worst example in the UK saw churn rates
go up by seven per cent.
The size of the losses examined ranged from 2,500 records to more than
125,000 and costs ranged from 84,000 to 3.8m.
Breaches by third parties were more expensive than in-house losses - on
average 59 rather than 42 in-house. This is a difficult issue for big
companies to deal with, because their supply chain will include hundreds
or even thousands of partner and outsourcer companies.
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