£2m clean-up bill for data breach

Companies which suffer a data security breach end up with an average clean-up bill of nearly £2m – a 13 per cent rise on last year – according to a new study which claims perpetrators are getting ever more sophisticated.
Hostile attacks are the most expensive to deal with, and are also the fastest growing form of threat. They have increased in volume by 22 per cent from the previous year, according to Symantec’s 2010 UK Cost of A Data Breach report.
Data breaches ranged from 6,900 to 72,000 records, and, with an average cost of £71 per record, final costs range between £36,000 to £6.2m. The most expensive incident increased by £2.3m compared to 2009, while the average cost was £1.9m.
Symantec European product marketing director Robert Mol said: “Breach costs are getting more expensive and the breaches are getting more effective because of the sophistication and the professionalism involved.”
The most common form of threat was system failure, accounting for 37 per cent of incidents, while negligence, in which employees lose vital data on laptops, phones or USB sticks, came in second with 34 per cent.
However, an increasing concern for those surveyed was the threat from insecure mobile devices connecting to the corporate network.
Some 64 per cent of those studied said they recognised this risk, while 84 per cent said that insecure mobile devices were likely to have accessed corporate data.
“Mobile devices are a growing cause of concern because of their ability to carry confidential information,” said Mol. “The consumerisation of IT means users can use their personal devices to become more efficient at work but in that case IT needs to protect these devices.”

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