The Ponemon Institute, which conducts independent research and offers strategic consulting on privacy, data protection, and information security policy, recently released its 2016 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis (2016 Study) identifying global trends in costs associated with data breaches and the implications for organizations. Ponemon conducts the study annually with the goal of quantifying the economic impact of data breaches and observing cost trends over time. According to Ponemon, “a better understanding of the cost, the root causes and factors that influence the cost will assist organizations in determining the appropriate amount of investment and resources needed to prevent or mitigate the consequences of an attack.”
The 2016 Study—which included 383 companies in 12 countries—found that, in comparison to the results of the 2015 study, the average total cost of a data breach increased from $3.79 million to $4 million, and the average total cost paid for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information increased from $154 to $158. Further, Ponemon’s analysis of the results places the likelihood of an organization having at least one material data breach (at least 10,000 lost or stolen records) within the next 24 months at 26%.