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How Much Does a Data Breach Cost?


This is the question asked by every business owner these days. It’s no wonder, with security breaches getting more and more common, that many people are wondering how much they will be hit with in case of disaster.

It’s also no surprise that this uncertainty leads to inaction. Fewer data-breach prevention measures are taken because nobody wants to pay for something they might not need. But there are many steps you can take to better protect your business against cyber-attacks. 

The Cost of a Data Breach

According to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 2021 had the highest average cost in 17 years. Data breach costs rose from USD 3.86 million to USD 4.24 million, the highest average total cost in the 17-year history.

The 4 key factors driving the cost up are:

  • Increased detection time for breaches because of increased complexity
  • Increased consequences for data breaches due to increased sensitivity
  • Increased regulatory compliance costs
  • Increased remote work due to COVID-19

That means that you need to take proactive steps if you want to protect your business. The first step is understanding where your company needs protection.

Why Prevention is Important

Data breaches and cyber-attacks are not things to take lightly. Data breaches, in particular, can have huge repercussions for your company. For example, a data breach could lead to lost revenue, negative media attention, and customer loss.

You’ll often hear the term “the cost of prevention is less than the cost of cleaning up.” This phrase sums up our top tip: Prevention is crucial.

How to Prevent Data Breaches

There are many prevention measures you can take to protect your company from data breaches and cyber-attacks. 

  1. Keep your systems updated

As technology changes and new threats emerge, it’s important that your systems and software stay updated as well. This will ensure they’re protected against new threats as they come out.

  1. Conduct a security audit.

This is the first and most important step in preventing data breaches. You need to know what’s already in place and what needs to be fixed.

  1. Improve password security.

If you’re like most people, your email account has probably been hacked at least once by now. This is because people often use passwords that are too simple or easy to guess. To keep your business safe from cyber-attacks, make sure that every employee uses complex and unique passwords and change them regularly (at least once a quarter).

  1. Encrypt data when it’s not in use.

If you do encrypt your data, make sure it’s not always on. Make sure employees only access the information they need when they need it, and make sure they delete their browsing history afterward. Consider cloud encryption software for sensitive documents.

  1. Perform regular backups

When hackers do break into a system, this is their last hope for stealing any valuable information – so you want to make sure that backup doesn’t exist! That means performing regular backups on a separate medium from the computer system itself – like an external hard

  1. Finally, there are some programs that can help detect potential threats by monitoring for unusual behavior on your network. These programs will alert you if they find anything unusual so you can take appropriate action before any real damage is done.

The Price of Being Victimized

IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report found that the average total cost of a data breach is $3.86 million and moving in an upward trend. This data, in particular, validates the reason to invest in preventative data security. In 2020, the country with the highest average total cost of a data breach was the United States at $8.64 million.

The price for being victimized by a data breach is high. Not only will your business have to deal with technical issues associated with a breach but you’ll also have to manage public perception.


Data breaches are a growing concern for any company that stores or handles customer’s data. With the rise in cyber-attacks, it’s important to be proactive and prepared for a potential breach.

A data breach could cost your company millions of dollars in lost revenue, legal fees, and customer loyalty. Once you have a better understanding of the cost of a data breach, it’s easier to take the necessary precautions to avoid being a victim.

It’s important to be prepared and take every measure possible to prevent a data breach in order to avoid these high costs.