New research from IBM has found that the average global cost of a data breach has increased again, claiming the financial burden can be felt for several years after the incident. 

IBM's Cost of a Data Breach study found that the cost of a data breach has risen from $3.86 million to $3.92 million over the past year. This figure is also 12% higher than that found just five years ago. In the United States, this figure is more than double - with the cost of a breach at $8.19 million. 

Companies with less than 500 employees suffered on average losses of over $2.5 milllion, a sum that could be potentially devastating for smaller companies. Breaches of over one million records were found to cost $42 million, and those of 50 million are estimated to cost $388 million. 

IBM also measured the financial impact of a breach on a company over several years and found that on average 67% of breach costs were realized within the first year after suffering from a breach, but over 22% accrued in the second year and an additional 11% did so more than two years after the breach. Organizations with highly regulated environments like the healthcare industry and the finance industry were found to have higher costs in the second and third years.

The study found that malicious breaches made up the majority (51%) of cases - a 21% increase over the oast six years. The cost of these breaches costs firms on average $4.45 million per breach. 

Accidently data breaches were found to make up 49% of all incidents, with human error costing firms $3.5 million and system glitches costing $3.24 million. 

For the ninth consecutive year, healthcare organizations were found to have the highest average cost associated with a data breach - costing these organizations $6.5 million on average. For healthcare organizations looking to comply with the HIPAA HITECH security framework, visit our solutions for healthcare webpage


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