Do You Know the Cost of a Data Breach?

The actual cost of a data breach is much more than the damages reported in news stories.

We all know the headlines detailing recent data breaches and the amount of money that companies have to pay in lawsuits.  The reality is that data breaches consist of direct, measurable costs such as fines or lawsuits due to stolen information.  However, there are also indirect costs that can have an impact on your business for years.  Considering that the global average cost of a data breach was $4.35 million in 2022—an increase of over 13% in two years—the aftermath can absolutely devastate a company.

The data and assets you rely on to run your business are valuable and must be secure to prevent a breach. There are many ways to reduce the impact if one does happen, but let’s first look at how the costs of a data breach stack up

Breaking down the costs of a data breach

Incident response and recovery

You need to respond immediately to minimize the damage once you discover a compromise.

Your initial response costs can soar as you:

  • Quarantine compromised hardware and software
  • Analyze activity reports
  • Document the exposures
  • Fix the vulnerability (or vulnerabilities) that caused the breach
  • Replace or repair infected system networks
  • Implement security measures and improvements


Days, weeks, or even months may pass between each stage in your initial data breach response. It’s a drawn-out procedure that must be completed properly, so you might need to bring in a skilled incident response team. Fast access to experts can reduce damage, hasten rehabilitation, and potentially stop future intrusions.

Proving how costly an inadequate response can be; one unnamed organization paid millions in ransom to recover its files.  Because they did not identify the root cause of the attack or secure its network, in less than two weeks the same attacker was able to, again, attack the victim’s network- using the same mechanism as before, and re-deployed their ransomware.  Consequently, the organization wound up paying ransom a second time.

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