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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.