Survey shows a sharp rise in the cost of data breaches

PGP Corporation, Vontu and The Ponemon Institute released the 2006 Annual Study: Cost of a Data Breach. This benchmark analysis details the financial impact of data loss incidents on affected companies. Initiated in 2005, the study examines all financial consequences of data breaches involving consumers’ personally identifiable information. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, more than 330 data loss incidents involving more than 93 million individual records have occurred since February 2005.

According to the study’s 2006 findings, data breaches cost companies an average of $182 per compromised record, a 31 percent increase over 2005. The Ponemon Institute analysed 31 different incidents for the study. Total costs for each ranged from less than $1 million to more than $22 million.

The 2006 Cost of a Data Breach Study tracks a wide range of cost factors, including legal, investigative, and administrative expenses, as well as stock performance, customer defections, opportunity loss, reputation management, and costs associated with customer support such as information hotlines and credit monitoring subscriptions.

“The new Ponemon study confirms what we hear every day from our enterprise customers, that they simply cannot afford to allow confidential data loss to continue,” said Steve Roop, vice president of products and marketing, Vontu. “By investing in technology solutions from PGP Corporation and Vontu, companies are able to quickly reduce their risk of data loss by as much as 90 percent.”

A separate report recently issued by Vontu and The Ponemon Institute, U.S. Survey: Confidential Data At Risk, demonstrates that companies do not have adequate controls over the storage of sensitive or confidential data at rest. In that study, 81 percent of respondents reported that their organisations have experienced one or more lost or missing laptop computers that contained sensitive or confidential business information in the past 12-month period.

The 2006 Cost of a Data Breach Study was co-sponsored by PGP Corporation, a global leader in enterprise data security and encryption solutions, and Vontu, the leader in data loss prevention solutions. Copies of the 2006 Cost of a Data Breach Study are available through PGP Corporation, Vontu, and The Ponemon Institute.

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