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Courion Comments on Ponemon Report on Data Loss Costs

Courion : 27 January, 2010  (Technical Article)
A report on the levels of increase in organisational costs associated with data theft provides additional weight to cost avoidance based justifications for improved data protection in the enterprise
Recently, the Ponemon Institute released its latest research into the costs associated with data breaches, revealing a stark increase in the cost to organisations of a data loss or theft.

Todd Chambers, Chief Marketing Officer at identity and access assurance specialist Courion commented.

"The data from the Ponemon Institute once again serves as a stark reminder of the real world costs of lax data security.

Failure to clamp down on data security has real and painful consequences for any organisation, regardless of whether it is a public or private sector body. Data breaches cost jobs, create catastrophic bad press and can have a painful impact on the bottom line.

Coupled with the new powers of the Information Commissioner's Office to fine companies in the UK upwards of £500,000 for each instance of a data protection failing, and the final cost of a breach or loss could very quickly dwarf the £4.1 million ($6.75 million) average per incident revealed in this year's survey.

The financial impact of the breaches examined in this report underline the growing value of data as a business asset. This survey revealed that the most expensive data breach event cost a company nearly £19 million to resolve, the cheapest being £463,000. In the previous survey, these figures were £3.8 million and £84,000 respectively - a massive jump in just a year.

This increase is a likely knock-on effect of two years of reduced headcount and focus around data governance among some organisations. This in turn has lead to information assets being lost, stolen and exploited due to a lack of oversight. Fortunately, as the report shows, investment is increasing as companies look to correct such oversights before they become systemic.

In short - If you think the cost of data governance is expensive, look at the overall cost to a business of a data breach."

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