2 min read.Updated: 28 Jul 2021, 03:10 PM ISTLivemint
Security incidents became more costly and harder to contain due to drastic operational shifts during the pandemic, with costs rising 10% compared to the prior year
Data breaches cost companies $4.24 million per incident on an average, according to the findings of the latest IBM Security report, the highest cost in the 17-year history of the report.
Based on analysis of real-world data breaches experienced by over 500 organizations, the study suggests that security incidents became more costly and harder to contain due to drastic operational shifts during the pandemic, with costs rising 10% compared to the prior year.
In India, the average total cost of data breach was ₹165 million in the 2021 study, an increase of 17.85% from 2020. The cost per lost or stolen record was ₹5,900 in the 2021 study, an increase of 6.85% from the previous year.
Businesses were forced to quickly adapt their technology approaches last year, with many companies encouraging or requiring employees to work from home, and 60% of organizations moving further into cloud-based activities during the pandemic. The new findings released today suggest that security may have lagged behind these rapid IT changes, hindering organizations’ ability to respond to data breaches.
“Higher data breach costs are yet another added expense for businesses in the wake of rapid technology shifts during the pandemic," said Chris McCurdy, vice president and general manager, IBM Security. “While data breach costs reached a record high over the past year, the report also showed positive signs about the impact of modern security tactics, such as AI, automation and the adoption of a zero-trust approach – which may pay off in reducing the cost of these incidents further down the line."
While certain IT shifts during the pandemic increased data breach costs, organizations who said they did not implement any digital transformation projects in order to modernize their business operations during the pandemic actually incurred higher data breach costs. The cost of a breach was $750,000 higher than average at organizations that had not undergone any digital transformation due to covid-19.
Companies studied that adopted a zero-trust security approach were better positioned to deal with data breaches. Organizations with a mature zero trust strategy had an average data breach cost of $3.28 million – which was $1.76 million lower than those who had not deployed this approach at all.
The report also found that more companies were deploying security automation compared to prior years, leading to significant cost savings. Around 65% of companies surveyed reported they were partially or fully deploying automation within their security environments, compared to 52% two years ago. Those organizations with a “fully deployed" security automation strategy had an average breach cost of $2.90 million – whereas those with no automation experienced more than double that cost at $6.71 million.