Latest Ponemon Study Reveals: Nearly 30% of Data Breaches are Caused by Neglect

Brooks Hoffman

The annual Ponemon Institute study on data breach trends demonstrates a continued increase in the cost and frequency of data breach incidents worldwide. This year the study found that the average total cost of a data breach, the average cost for each lost or stolen record (per capita cost), and the average size of data breaches have all increased beyond the 2017 report averages:

  • The average total cost rose from $3.62 to $3.86 million, an increase of 6.4%
  • The average cost for each lost record rose from $141 to $148, an increase of 4.8%
  • The average size of the data breaches in this research increased by 2.2%

While about 48% of data loss is a result of a malicious or criminal attack, 27% of breaches are caused by negligent acts from employees or contractors. This carelessness often stems from mismanaged processes for controlling data destruction. According to the report, some of the biggest factors that impact the cost of a data breach include mismanagement by third-parties (added $13.40 to the cost per stolen record), compliance failures (contributed $11.90 to the cost), and lost or stolen devices ($6.50 of added cost per record).

The report demonstrates the rising cost of data breach incidents and the importance of investing in preventative programs that mitigate the risk of a security incident. When it comes to IT Asset Disposition, having good policies and programs in place to track and manage data bearing assets from the time they are removed from your production environment until the data on these devices are destroyed is key. When working with any third parties (like Iron Mountain), it is important to ensure that they also have proper controls and incident response programs in place.

You can download and read the full report here:

2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study by Ponemon

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