Ponemon Institute releases global data breach analysis
June 5, 2014

Data breaches have increased in frequency and breadth in the past few years, leading to significant financial issues for a broad range of industries, as well as consumers and government agencies. Research has found that the cost of data breach has been on the rise for years, and that the average organization is still dramatically unprepared to deal with a major lapse in protection. 

More often than not, security events are preventable through the use of relatively simplistic controls, with some studies indicating that more than nine out of every 10 data loss events occurred because the company did not have an adequate or standard level of control measures in place. Regardless of which industry an organization is competing within, decision-makers must make security a higher priority in the coming years to begin to fight against the rapid spread of fraud and breach. 

Security is too often viewed as an extraneous or optional component of corporate management, and this can quickly lead to poor brand recognition and a lack of trust among both current and prospective clientele. New analysis has indicated that the security arena is transforming, as hackers become more poised to break into systems, disrupt services and steal sensitive information from databases. 

The high costs of poor security
Ponemon Institute recently released a global analysis on the cost of data breach, finding that the average event's price tag has increased roughly 15 percent from last year's figures. The authors of the report pointed out that the average financial damage incurred by a victimized enterprise was $3.5 million on the global scale, which is more than enough to cause significant issues for the average organization. 

Interestingly, the rising price of investigations, sanctions and recovery accounted for a significant portion of the overall cost increases, all of which have become too commonplace in the past few years. This further highlights the importance of taking a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to data and network security in the modern enterprise landscape. 

The most common cause of breach actually changed, at least on the global scale, with the researchers finding that malicious insiders and criminal attacks not only comprised the majority of the events themselves, but also a higher rate of financial damages. Ponemon Institute noted that many companies are increasing their investments in cyber insurance to manage risk and protect themselves against significant financial disruptions. 

However, few are actually working to put controls and measures in place to avoid breaches altogether. Regardless, the analysis turned up several other statistics of note.

"Global companies also are worried about malicious code and sustained probes, which have increased more than other threats," the authors explained. "Companies estimate that they will be dealing with an average of 17 malicious codes each month and 12 sustained probes each month. Unauthorized access incidents have mainly stayed the same and companies estimate they will be dealing with an average of 10 such incidents each month."

Smarter protection is needed
There is no denying that the risk of data breach is on the rise, nor that the average organization will strain to foot the bill for one of these events should they occur. As such, businesses in North America and abroad should consider leveraging more advanced access management solutions to mitigate privacy issues and improve their operational performance management amid the rapid proliferation of new digital technology. 

Authentication has become one of the most recommended types of advanced security solutions, and can help businesses from virtually every industry immediately improve their resilience to breach, while simultaneously streamlining the user experience for maximum engagement.