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Data breach costs continue to soar

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Khakimullin Aleksandr)

The cost of a data breach has risen by almost 10 percent, compared to last year - the greatest spike since 2015. This is according to a new report from Atlas VPN, which says the average cost of addressing a data breach now sits as $4.24 million.

Atlas VPN based its findings on data provided by IBM, a company that interviewed roughly 3,500 people from 537 firms that experienced a data breach. It was uncovered that the average total cost of a data breach stood at $3.79 seven years ago, with the lowest point - $3.62 million - being in 2017.

Predictably, there are industry differences, as well as geographical ones. Companies in the US usually pay the most ($9.03 million on average), followed by companies in the Middle East, each losing $6.93 million per incident.

When it comes to industries, the report states, healthcare is the worst with average per incident losses of $9.23 million, followed by financial, pharma, technology and energy.

“The record-high average losses can be directly linked to the rapid onset of remote work, as it created many new loopholes for cybercriminals to exploit,” said Edward Garb, a cybersecurity researcher at Atlas VPN.

There are numerous ways in which a data breach can have a negative effect on a business, from reputational damage to data recovery fees and possible employee layoffs.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.