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Average data breach now costing companies $3.86 million

© Hari Nandakumar

The cost of data breaches is going up according to new research compiled by IBM, finding that companies worldwide were being hit hard by a rising trend of cyberattacks and data theft.

In the new study, IBM discovered after surveying 500 businesses that leaks of personally identifiable information on employees and customers was leading to record fines being imposed on organizations.

In more than 80% of cases, exposed customer data and PII (personally identifiable information) was the fastest rising cost for businesses. Part of the problem is to do with training and management as company employees at multinational firms are not necessarily aware of proper data storage practices. And when employees get promoted or new staff hires take place, IT systems and hard drives still contain sensitive data that can be left unattended, and then compromised.

Data security manufacturer Verity Systems has seen an increase in demand for automatic hard drive degaussers that securely erase stored information since the implementation of Europe’s GDPR law and California’s CCPA, which have increased the fines levied on firms that fail to protect user data.

Speaking to The Britonian, David Tucker, President of Verity Systems said, “Companies today have to take extra precautions to ensure their data security practices are kept in check. This means that managers as well as employees should look carefully at how they handle their own data, as well as that of their clients so that hard drives no longer in use are safely erased.”

And with companies being affected by a rise in malware and phishing attacks, the emphasis on data protection at the workplace and secure erasure is increasingly important.

In an interview with IT Pro Portal, Wendi Whitmore, Vice President of IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence said, “When it comes to businesses’ ability to mitigate the impact of a data breach, we’re beginning to see a clear advantage held by companies that have invested in automated technologies.”

Following a number of high profile data breaches including a recent Ransomware attack on cosmetics firm Avon, businesses are increasingly affected by a myriad of data security threats. This has led to a record increase in investments in data security systems and workforce training.

How is your business approaching data security? Share your experiences: @TheBritonian