Cost of a data breach rose 56% in the past year

Here’s another statistic IT pros might use to convince their organization’s finance department to invest more in data security:

The cost of dealing with a data breach has risen sharply recently.

In fact, the average financial damage caused by security incidents has increased by 56% compared to last year, according to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute. Cybercrime now costs businesses an average of $6 million a year.

That figure includes the direct costs for money that was stolen from the company or its customers, disruption to business operations, lost revenue, and the time and effort required to clean up the mess after a breach.

Why such a sharp increase? One factor is that the more sophisticated attacks used by hackers now take more time to respond to — the time businesses spent responding to attacks increased from 14 days to 18 days in the past year.

Also, there are simply more incidents now: The study reports there is an average of 72 successful breaches per week, an increase of 44% compared to last year.

IT departments that have trouble getting support for their security initiatives could use data like this to help get their point across.

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