The Costs of a Data Breach

This blog is a summary of a 2017 study commissioned by IBM and undertaken by the Ponemon Institute, LLC on the cost of a data breach that can be found at

A data breach is an event – either accidental or intentional – that discloses personal, financial and/or any other private information of a business or an individual that potentially puts the entity at risk of some type of loss.

The principal causes of a data breach that compromises records and potentially puts personal and business information at risk are:

  1. Criminal attacks
  2. Human error by an employee
  3. Business process or IT failures

The average cost to a financial institution for each compromised record in 2016 was $245.

The average cost of detection and escalation incurred by the U.S. firms following a material data breach in 2016 was $1.07 million.

Factors that may decrease the cost of a data breach include:

  1. Participation in threat sharing
  2. Use of security analytics
  3. The recruitment and retention of knowledgeable personnel

The probability of a material data breach occurring at any organization over the next 24-month period is estimated to be 26.8%.

Contact American Document Destruction today to learn more on how our service can assist you or your business’ avoid a data breach.