A new study reveals that data breaches grew more costly for the fifth year in a row, with the average organizational cost of a data breach going up $7.2 million in 2010. The cost per compromised record now sits at $214, up from $204 in 2009. That's a lot of wasted money, especially when you consider that one of the biggest culprits is negligence.
Revealed in Ponemon Institute's "2010 Annual Study: U.S. Cost of a Data Breach," which was commissioned by Symantec, Ponemon said that negligence remains the most common threat, and an increasingly expensive one.
"The number of breaches attributed to negligence edged up a point to 41 percent," Ponemon said. "Breaches from negligence in 2010 averaged $196 per record, up $42 (27 percent) from 2009. The relatively stable incidence of negligence may indicate that ensuring employee and partner compliance remains an ongoing challenge. These figures may reflect the growing prevalence and cost of malicious breaches, as well as organizations' growing competency in handling breaches from systems failures and negligence."
At the same time, malicious or criminal attacks are now the most expensive cause of data breaches, whereas before they were the least common one.