Yikes! The Average Breach Costs How Much?!

According to a study conducted for IBM by Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach has drastically increased. Ponemon conducted 1,500 interviews in over 383 victim organizations, for 16 different industries, within 12 countries.

It was discovered that the average total cost of a breach is $4 million, which has increased by 29% since 2013. In Canada, that number has increased to $6 million, up 12.5% from 2014.


IBM02This $4 million cost, breaks down to about $158 per record. However, this can range significantly depending on the industry.
Health care organizations average cost per record: $355
Retail Industry average cost per record: $172

Transportation companies average cost per record: $129








Internationally 48% of breaches were due to malicious attacks. In Canada, the numbers break

down for breaches were:

  • 54% from malicious or criminal attacks
  • 25% caused by human error
  • 21% due to system glitches






IBM04“Cybersecurity incidents continue to grow in both volume and sophistication, with 64% more security incidents reported in 2015 than in 2014.”
Amanda Carl, Corporate Communications Officer for IBM

With this severe increase to security incidents, it’s not so surprising that the likelihood of a breach occurring in a year is 26%

It’s also interesting to note that on average it took a company 5 months to detect a breach, and 2 months to contain the incident.






With all of these numbers out there increasing on what seems like a daily basis, it’s still shocking to note that most companies do not properly invest in Information Security.  According to the study, 59% of the total cost of a breach is due to responsive activities like forensics, legal fees, all communications and regulatory directives.  The study also found that companies that had business continuity processes found breaches 2 months early and contained the breach 1 month faster.

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Images sourced from IBM Security: http://www-03.ibm.com/security/infographics/data-breach/