Cost of a Data Breach: Behind the Numbers of a Cybersecurity Response Plan

Find out how to protect your enterprise from a costly breach.

Cost of a Data Breach: Behind the Numbers of a Cybersecurity Response Plan

What You’ll Learn:

  • Understand how the financial impact of a data breach reflects the changing threat landscape continues to change and can seriously tarnish your reputation.
  • How cyber adversaries changed their attack tactics with the onset of the 2020 pandemic
  • Find out how to protect your enterprise from a costly breach with data security solutions and cyber threat intelligence.

Now more than ever, enterprises have an obligation to handle the personal data of their customers with care. To complete numerous financial transactions or register for various services, people disclose their private information to enterprises with an expectation that they will protect their personal data. Unfortunately, personal information is valuable to malicious adversaries.

Criminals employ destructive cyberattacks to access this information. The breaches not only cost millions for companies, but they also result in customers understandably feeling violated. Even the most prominent corporations have experienced data breaches. And the brunt of the blame always falls on the company.

Find out the substantial impact of data theft and how you can protect your enterprise with advanced threat detection and response.

Cost of a Cybersecurity Data Breach

What is a Data Breach?

A  data breach is an incident in which sensitive or confidential data has been accessed or stolen by a cybercriminal without authorization. Cybercriminals are individuals or groups of individuals that use their technical expertise, understanding of human behavior and several tools and services to accomplish their objectives. Recent attacks such as the Solarwinds supply chain compromise shows the increased level of sophistication being used by threat actors.

Most data breaches are a result of the following activities:

  • Hacking or malware attacks
  • Insider leak
  • Payment card fraud
  • Loss or theft
  • Unintended disclosure

The percentage of breaches by data type include1:

  • Customer PII (Personally Identifiable Information) – 80%
  • Intellectual Property – 32%
  • Anonymized Customer Data – 24%
  • Other Corporate Data – 23%
  • Employee PII (Personally Identifiable Information) – 21%

What's the Average Cost of a Data Breach?

According to the Ponemon Institute's 2020 “Cost of Data Breach Study,” the global average for a data breach is $3.83 million, but the average cost of a data breach in the United States has hit an all-time high of $8.64 million.1

Here is the average cost per compromised record by data type:1

  • Customer PII – $175
  • Anonymized Customer Data – $171
  • Employee PII – $163
  • Intellectual Property – $151
  • Other Corporate Data – $150

The primary consequences of a data breach include:

  • Financial loss
  • Reputational Damage
  • Operational Downtime
  • Legal Action
  • Loss of Sensitive Data

Data Breaches in 2020

The number of data breaches in 2020 decreased by 48% compared to 2019 results. However, the volume of records that were compromised by these breaches increased by 141% to a massive 37 billion, the largest number seen since 2005.2 The factors impacting the reduction in data breaches is due to the number of organizations that fail to disclose the occurrence of a breach and the inability to quickly detect sophisticated attacks.

With the onset of the 2020 pandemic, many organizations moved their workers from a centralized office to working remotely from home. By April 2020, the percentage of US workers punching the clock from home reached an all-time high of 70%.3 Secureworks incident responders saw customers experiencing increased risk in the following areas:3

  • Lack of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) — Social engineering ploys and other types of credential theft keep occurring, making MFA increasingly important.
  • Access to SaaS Applications — To get around corporate VPN bandwidth limitations, organizations allowed remote users to access SaaS applications on devices directly, rather than through the VPN.
  • PN Split Tunneling — To alleviate the strain on undersized VPN solutions, organizations used split tunneling to route some traffic through the encrypted VPN tunnel, while allowing other devices or applications to access the internet directly.
  • Security Monitoring and Access Control Implications — Many security appliances, VPN concentrators, firewalls, and proxies were undersized for remote workforces.
  • Delays in Security Patching — For many organizations, operational priorities delayed patching of internet-facing systems and remote access services, even when those systems were most at risk.

Detection and Response

Threat detection and response is an important component of security programs. With over 80% of organizations increasing investments in threat detection and response technologies, it is clear that the need for a modern answer to the ever-increasing sophistication of cyber adversaries.

Many security professionals are beginning to look at XDR (extended detection and response) as a path to increase security efficacy by identifying known and unknown threats. Secureworks Taegis™ XDR provides broad visibility across today’s disjointed networks, where it is difficult to guard against both vertical and horizontal attacks.

The security community is constantly learning from and adapting to the latest tactics, techniques and procedures of today’s threat actors. Secureworks’ combination of security expertise, a cloud native, security analytics platform and global threat intelligence helps customers detect malicious activity before a data breach occurs.

1 Ponemon Institute. Cost of Data Breach Study. 2020
2 Risk Based Security. 2020 Year End Data Breach Quick View Report. 2021
3 Secureworks. Pandemic-Driven Change: The Effect of COVID-19 on Incident Response. 2020
4 ESG. The Impact of XDR on the Modern SOC. 2020

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