The cost of data breaches around the world is growing. The global average cost of a data breach in 2021 totaled $4.24 million, according to IBM research. Data breaches result from unintended leaks or targeted cybercrimes where an unauthorized person accesses, transmits, or steals sensitive information.
To understand the cost of failures in data security, Beyond Identity collected research from IBM Security’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021. This study looked at 537 data breaches across 17 industries and countries. IBM’s data excluded larger and smaller data breaches. In the study, researchers looked at breaches that exposed between 2,000 and 101,000 records.
The cost of a breach was calculated based on four categories of spending: detection and escalation, notification, post-breach response, and lost business. If the average value of a data breach in 2021 was the same for two industries, the one with the larger year-over-year change was ranked higher.
A February 2022 study from ThoughtLab found the average number of these incidents increased by 15.1% in 2021. Anyone from lone hackers to national governments can perpetrate these attacks. In March 2021, Microsoft intercepted a hacker group attempting to infiltrate their popular mail and calendar program Exchange. They suspected a state-sponsored hacker group from China, which immediately led to an emergency warning from the U.S. government to improve its cybersecurity.
Confidential data compromised during these incidents included personally identifiable information, corporate data, and intellectual property. IBM reported that compromised credentials caused 20% of the data breaches. Some malicious groups create breaches to use the information in other criminal activities such as credit card fraud and identity theft. It takes 287 days on average to identify and contain a breach.
Increased remote work is contributing to rising data breach costs, and organizations that haven’t adopted cybersecurity measures are more vulnerable to such incidents. During the pandemic, cybercrime expanded from targeting individuals and small businesses to major corporations and infrastructure. There was a 10% increase from 2020 to 2021 in the average cost of a data breach to industries in many major countries, per IBM.
Read on to learn about the top 10 industries that faced serious financial damages because of data breaches.