News Feature | June 12, 2015

Breaches More Costly Than Ever

Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

AHIMA Breach Management Toolkit

According to a recent report, the cost of a data breach has increased drastically in the last two years.

If your organization isn’t prepared for a breach, it will cost you.

According to a Ponemon Institute report, the cost of data breaches has risen 23 percent since 2013. The study analyzed data from 350 companies spanning 11 countries and found the average consolidated total cost of a data breach is $3.8 million.

“Based on our field research, we identified three major reasons why the cost keeps climbing,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute in an announcement. “First, cyber-attacks are increasing both in frequency and the cost it requires to resolve these security incidents. Second, the financial consequences of losing customers in the aftermath of a breach are having a greater impact on the cost. Third, more companies are incurring higher costs in their forensic and investigative activities, assessments and crisis team management.”

Fierce Health IT reports the cost for each record stolen that contained sensitive information was about $145-$154; stolen healthcare records cost the most, reaching as high as $363 per record. “The growing sophistication and collaboration of cybercriminals ties directly with the historic costs we're seeing for data breaches,” said Marc van Zadelhoff, Vice President of Strategy, IBM Security.

“The industry needs to organize at the same level as hackers to help defend themselves from these continuing attacks. The use of advanced analytics, sharing threat intelligence data and collaborating across the industry will help to even the playing field against attackers while helping mitigate the cost to commerce and society.”

Health IT Outcomes reported previously that breaches cost the healthcare industry an average of 5.6 billion annually and have affected 30 million patients since 2009.