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Cost of data breach hits record high during pandemic: IBM

According to an IBM report, security incidents were more expensive and more difficult to control due to the drastic operational shifts that occurred during the pandemic. The average cost of data breaches to Indian organizations rose to close to 18% to Rs 16.5 million between May 2020 and February 2021.

According to the study, data breaches are common in other parts the world. The average incident cost for surveyed companies was USD 4.24million. This is the highest in 17 years of the report’s history.

It concluded that the study was based on an in-depth analysis over 500 real-world data breaches. The results show that security incidents were more expensive and more difficult to control due to operational shifts during the pandemic. Costs rose 10 percent compared with the previous year.

India data revealed that the average cost of data breaches in 2021 (May 2020 to March2021) was Rs 16.5million. The report last year had stated that data breaches in India cost Indian organisations an average of Rs 14 crore between April 2020 and August 2019.

Based on data breaches of 100,000 records and less that were experienced by more than 500 organizations worldwide, the 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report of IBM Security and Ponemon Institute was created.

This report considers hundreds of costs associated with data breach incidents. These include legal, regulatory and technical activities, loss of brand equity, customers and employee productivity.

According to India insights, the cost per record lost or stolen in 2021 was Rs 5,900, which is 6.85 percent more than 2020.

Phishing, malicious insider and physical security compromise were the top three most common initial attacks for data breaches.

It stated that the average time it took to detect a data breach increased from 239 to 230 days and that the average time it took to contain it fell from 83 days to 81 days.

It was interesting to note that organisations with less than 50% remote adoption took 208 days to identify a breach and 72 days to contain it. However, those with more remote adoption took 271 and 83 days respectively to identify a breach and contain it.

“The rapid shift towards remote work saw a huge disruption in security programs. Security was forgotten and organisations were too focused on the internet. India saw a record-breaking data breach during the pandemic. This led to many organizations assessing their security posture,” Prashant Bhatkal, Security Software Sales Lead at IBM Technology Sales, India/South Asia said.

He said that it was important to take these lessons every year and to adopt an open approach to the complexity and fragmentation issues facing security teams today, as well as a zero-trust strategy.

“It is clear that modernisation, including the adoption AI, security analytics and an application of a zero trust approach, has significantly reduced data breach costs. It is important to understand and implement the best measures to save money for organisations when there has been a data breach, such as applying zero trusts and hybrid cloud and encryption.” he stated.