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What was the cost of a data breach in 2020?

A data breach is every company’s waking nightmare. What is the cost of a data breach for your company?

Ponemon Institute and IBM Security released the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report. Interviews were conducted with more than 3,200 professionals from 524 companies that have experienced a data breach between August 2019 and April 2020. The organizations in the study comprise of various sizes, spanning 17 countries and regions as well as 17 industries.

Remote work during COVID-19 was expected to increase data breach costs and incident response times

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and altered how organizations around the world operate.

In the study, majority of organizations (76%) predicted that remote work would make responding to a potential data breach a much more difficult to ordeal.

The average total cost of a data breach declined slightly

The average total cost of a data breach declined slightly in this year’s report, from $3.92 million last year to $3.86 million this year. However, there is a growing divide in data breach costs among organizations. Costs were much lower for some of the most mature companies and industries and much higher for organizations that lagged behind in areas such as security automation and incident response processes.

Of 17 industries surveyed, healthcare had the highest average total cost. The average time to identify and contain a breach was 280 days.


Want to see how much a breach would cost your company?

The average total cost of a data breach varied by industry, geography and security maturity.

Check out the IBM Security – Cost of Data Breach webpage to:

  • Use the data breach calculator to explore the industry, location, and cost factors if you experience a security incident.
  • Download the complete Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020. 

How can companies stay one step ahead of a potential data breach?

A company’s livelihood depends on how effectively it can maintain compliance, optimize risk management, and use root cause analysis to detect threats.

Instead of just worrying about it, take the time to explore solutions that can help with your business.

IBM Z pervasive encryption enables extensive encryption of data in-flight and at-rest to substantially reduce costs associated with protecting data and achieving compliance mandates.

As one of its core capabilities, z/OS Encryption Readiness Technology (zERT) monitors your z/OS cryptographic network protection. zERT can help you stay one step ahead of ongoing cyber threats.

For more about zERT, see Things you should know about z/OS Encryption Readiness Technology (zERT).

Erin Zhang
Latest posts by Erin Zhang (see all)
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