Costs for Data Breaches Take a Tumble

The Ponemon Institute, an independent research center that examines privacy, data protection, and information-security policies, yesterday reported the first decline in at least seven years of both the organizational cost of data breaches and the cost per lost or stolen record.

In the institute’s seventh annual “Cost of Data Breach Study: U.S.,” which compiled data from 49 companies in 14 industries, the average organizational cost of breaches fell to $5.5 million in 2011 from $7.2 million in 2010, while the cost per record drop backed up to $194 from $214. (The study omits breaches of more than 100,000 thousand, which it views as atypical and result-skewing.)

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