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Fighting the trend

Fighting the trend 

The study, published June 15, posits worrying consequences for afflicted companies.

On average, data breaches cost Canadian businesses $6.03 million per incident. With a 12.5 per cent increase since 2013, experts warn that it is a number on the rise.

The numbers work out to approximately $158 per compromised record, with highly regulated industries like healthcare reaching $355 per record. These costs represent a $100 increase from 2013.

This trend is perhaps most devastating to Canada, which faces the highest detection and escalation costs of the 12 countries in the report.

The study found that hackers and criminal insiders are the leading cause of breaches, contributing to 54 per cent of Canadian breaches.

“The amount of time, effort and costs that companies face in the wake of a data breach can be devastating, and unfortunately most companies still don’t have a plan in place to deal with this process efficiently,” said Ted Julian, Vice President, Resilient an IBM Company.

The good news is this: though Julian acknowledges that the risk is “inevitable”, it is reducible. The study sets forth four ways to cut down threats, including working with IT or outside security experts, disclosing any and all breaches to government/regulatory officials, and setting up hotline support and credit monitoring services for affected customers.

Most of all, the study emphasizes the need for incident response teams, without which damages quickly add up. Breaches that are identified in under 100 days cost companies an average of $3.23 million, and once past the 100 day mark increase by approximately $1 million. A response team can cut this period down, saving companies $400,000 on average.

“Having a coordinated and automated incident response plan, as well as access to the right resources and skills, can make or break how much a company is impacted by a security event,” says Ted Julian, Vice President, Resilient an IBM Company.

In this way, companies can adapt to an era in which Dr. Larry Ponemon claims “data breaches are now a consistent ‘cost of doing business’.”

“The evidence shows that this is a permanent cost organizations need to be prepared to deal with and incorporate in their data protection strategies.”

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