Why Data Theft or Loss Can Be Expensive
The costs of all the data breaches caused by people behaving badly are significant. According to Symantec’s 2013 Cost of a Data Breach study, the average cost to a business for each compromised record is $188. That’s almost $2 million for the release of 10,000 customer numbers. Potential expenses include:
- Notification of affected customers.
- Forensic experts who can help investigate a security breach.
- Public relations and advertising efforts to repair your reputation and reestablish customer trust.
- Legal fees and liabilities from civil awards, settlements and judgments.
The type of information breached can also affect your costs. If it’s just usernames and passwords, any lawsuits would rely in part on certain state and federal consumer/personal privacy statutes as they relate to negligence. But something more serious, such as medical records or Social Security numbers, may run afoul of specific federal and state statutes that could drive up the potential legal awards.