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Data breaches costing companies millions per incident

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Ai825)

A single data breach costs a company $3.86 million on average, according to a new study from IBM.

The company analyzed 500 organizations worldwide and found that, in most cases, businesses are hit the hardest after a data breach involving employee account compromise.

In four out of five cases, customers' personally identifiable information (PII) is exposed as a result, costing the business significant sums.

IBM suggests one of the main problems is that employees don’t know how to properly store and secure customer data. More than half of surveyed employees, new to remote working, have not received any training or guidelines on how to handle customer PII in the cloud.

"When it comes to businesses' ability to mitigate the impact of a data breach, we're beginning to see a clear advantage held by companies that have invested in automated technologies," said Wendi Whitmore, Vice President, IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence.

"At a time when businesses are expanding their digital footprint at an accelerated pace and the security industry's talent shortage persists, teams can be overwhelmed securing more devices, systems and data. Security automation can help resolve this burden, not only supporting a faster breach response but a more cost-efficient one as well."

IBM claims that stolen and otherwise compromised credentials are the single biggest threat to an organization’s business posture. Together with cloud misconfiguration, it accounts for almost 40 percent of malicious incidents, underlining the importance of a zero trust approach to cybersecurity.