In the first half of 2018, more than 4.5 billion data records were compromised worldwide - an increase of 133% over the same period in 2017. Many of the targets were in the banking, healthcare, and social network industries - at companies where customers could expect that their data were secured with the highest levels of protection.
According to digital security company Gemalto, North America is still the worst hit for data breaches - with the USA accounting for 72% of all records stolen. Indeed, the personal information of hundreds of millions of Americans was compromised during the June 2018 breach at marketing company Exactis.
Meanwhile, Europe saw a 28% increase in the number of records breached - and the severity of attacks is increasing worldwide and across all sectors.
Calculating the cost of data breaches is not easy - it stretches far beyond costs incurred through ransomware. Facebook’s breach in March 2018 knocked more than 100 billion US dollars off the share price within days, while fines imposed by the US Federal Trade Commission could still cost the company trillions of dollars.
Perhaps one of the biggest impacts of a data breach to a company’s bottom line comes from the loss of customer trust. In the retail industry - where 80% to 90% of people logging on to e-commerce websites are using stolen data - customers are switching brands to safeguard their information. Business Insider cites a recent study by KPMG showing that 19% of consumers would completely stop shopping at a retailer after a data breach, while as many as 33% would take an extended break.
How would your own company fare if it suddenly lost one third of its customers overnight?
While there are many factors affecting the overall cost to each business, a 2018 study shows that data breaches are becoming increasingly expensive year-on-year - currently averaging 3.86 million US dollars globally (up 6.4%), and 7.91 million US dollars in the USA. Some reports have estimated that the total annual cost of data breaches in 2020 will exceed 2 trillion US dollars.
With so much at stake, and the risks and costs only increasing, companies are investing more resources to counter data security threats. A 2017 Gartner report estimated the total global security budget for 2018 would be 96 billion US dollars - an 8% increase over 2017; while a previous IDC report forecasted spending on security related hardware, software, and services to reach more than 91 billion US dollars - a year-on-year increase of more than 10%.
A significant rise in security spend for 2018 was certainly expected - not least due to stricter data privacy laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) - however, the total figure may have exceeded all expectations. The more recent 2018 U.S. State of Cybercrime study cites an increase of 27% in the average IT security budget.
With data breaches continuing to topple both big and small names like dominoes, companies across all sectors are desperate to tighten the security around their data - and those that aren’t are almost certain to pay the price.
There has never been a better time than now to enhance your business value by boosting your IT security knowledge.
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Enhance your security skill set with informative, engaging, and empowering training content taken through Oracle University. Your boss, CEO, shareholders, and, most importantly, your customers, will be eternally grateful.