The cost of data breaches has continued to rise, according a report recently released by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by PGP Corporation.
The fifth annual U.S. Cost of Data Breach Study found that while total number of incidents reported decreased in 2009, the total cost associated with data breaches has increased in the past year.
For 2009, data breaches cost $204 per compromised customer record, an increase from $202 it cost in 2008.
“In the five years we have conducted this study, we have continued to see an increase in the cost to businesses for suffering a data breach,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute. “With a variety of threat vectors to contend with, companies must proactively implement policies and technologies that mitigate the risk of facing a costly breach.”
The report did find breaches resulting from incidents of negligence on the part of insiders have decreased in cost and number in the past year. The report found a corresponding increase in employee awareness and training programs and an increased use of encryption for data. Additionally, the number of breaches by third parties has also decreased slightly from the previous year.
“Customers are increasingly aware of and expecting a secure level of protection and privacy for the data they entrust to businesses,” said Phillip Dunkelberger, president and CEO of PGP Corporation. “Our study with the Ponemon Institute continues to demonstrate that companies whose data is not protected are not only facing expensive direct costs from cleaning up a data breach, but also a loss in customer confidence that has long-lasting ramifications.”