back to article System failure blamed for increasing data breach costs

System failure has replaced negligence as the single biggest source of data breaches involving UK firms, the cost of which rose for the third successive year. The average data breach cost UK organisations £1.9 million or £71 per record, an increase of 13 per cent from the year before, according to a Symantec-sponsored survey. …


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  1. Pete 2

    No wonder negligence reports are down

    > levy heavy fines on organisations that experience data breaches as a result of negligence,

    Presumably all that has happened is a reclassification of the root cause from the blameful negligence to the woolly and non-specific "system failure".

  2. Anonymous Coward

    What kind of failure?

    What's the nature of these system failures? If it's a machine dying, or someone accidentally pulling the plug, then that seems to me to be an unlikely candidate for causing a security breach; it's difficult to divulge something when you're dead.

    If, on the other hand, its systems not doing what they should be doing then the question is why? And if that answer is "the software didn't work as advertised" then that is still negligence. It's just not necessarily the fault of the person running the system; it's the fault of the system manufacturer instead.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    strengthen perimeter controls?

    Instead of having a perimeter only allow access through encrypted channels running off embedded devices. The end devices negotiate access to shared resources. Therefore there is no central network to hack. The only function the server performs is allocate/disable keys.

    - simples ...

  4. Courion

    Orgs need to better understand source or risks

    Once again, UK data breach costs are rising, to an average of £71 per record. Data breaches can create catastrophic bad press and can have a painful impact on the bottom line. Coupled with the new powers of the Information Commissioner’s Office to fine companies in the UK upwards of £500,000 for each instance of a data protection failing, the final overall cost of a breach or loss could very quickly dwarf the £1.9 million revealed by this. The fact that policy failures accounted for the biggest proportion, 37%, indicates that while companies are heavily investing in intrusion prevention, they are not properly managing access by their own employees to critical data such as customer information or patient records. Organisations need to better understand where their greatest sources of risk reside as well as who is accessing sensitive data, how and why. It is the organisation’s responsibility to stringently manage policy and track activity to make sure that access to the most sensitive data is only granted to those for whom it is necessary to do their jobs.

    Marc Lee, EMEA Sales Director, Courion

  5. Conseal Security

    Data breaches have a real cost to organisations

    The latest data from the Ponemon Institute serves as a stark reminder of the costs of lax data security to UK businesses.

    Failure to clamp down on data security has real and painful consequences for any organisation, putting jobs at risk, generating lasting bad press and eroding what are already fragile revenues in the current economic climate.

    Worryingly, the significant figure of £1.9 million average cost per incident, or £71 per compromised record, does not account for the ability of the Information Commissioner’s Office to fine companies in the UK up to £500,000 for each instance of a data protection failing is taken into account.

    The growth in the cost of a data breach represents the knock-on effect of increased mobile device use in the workplace, including removable storage, as well as an increasingly lax attitude to protecting not only removable storage devices but data in all its forms. Some 64 per cent of those surveyed by Ponemon acknowledged the risk post by mobile devices to data security, while 84 per cent said that insecure mobile devices were likely to have accessed corporate data in some form.

    Fortunately, the Ponemon Institute report shows investment is increasing as companies look to correct such oversights before they become systemic. The value of such an investment is certainly attractive in comparison to the costs of a data breach.

    Tom Colvin, Chief Technology Officer, Conseal Security

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