IBM Security has released its annual Cost of a Data Breach Report,1 showing the global average cost of a data breach reached $4.45 million in 2023 – an all-time high for the report and a 15% increase over the last 3 years. Detection and escalation costs jumped 42% over this same time frame, representing the highest portion of breach costs, and indicating a shift towards more complex breach investigations.
According to the 2023 IBM report, businesses are divided in how they plan to handle the increasing cost and frequency of data breaches. The study found that while 95% of studied organizations have experienced more than one breach, breached organizations were more likely to pass incident costs onto consumers (57%) than to increase security investments (51%).
The 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report is based on in-depth analysis of real-world data breaches experienced by 553 organizations globally between March 2022 and March 2023. The research, sponsored and analyzed by IBM Security, was conducted by Ponemon Institute and has been published for 18 consecutive years. Some key findings in the 2023 IBM report include:
- AI Picks Up Speed – AI and automation had the biggest impact on speed of breach identification and containment for studied organizations. Organizations with extensive use of both AI and automation experienced a data breach lifecycle that was 108 days shorter compared to studied organizations that have not deployed these technologies (214 days versus 322 days).
- The Cost of Silence – Ransomware victims in the study that involved law enforcement saved $470,000 in average costs of a breach compared to those that chose not to involve law enforcement. Despite these potential savings, 37% of ransomware victims studied did not involve law enforcement in a ransomware attack.
- Detection Gaps – Only one third of studied breaches were detected by an organization’s own security team, compared to 27% that were disclosed by an attacker. Data breaches disclosed by the attacker cost nearly $1 million more on average compared to studied organizations that identified the breach themselves.
Speaking on the findings of the report, Elaine Hanley of IBM Security Services Ireland said: “Across the globe, and very similar to the UK, this report confirms what we are seeing as ordinary citizens in Ireland. Across all industries studied customer personally identifiable information was the most commonly breached record type and the costliest. In Ireland we are seeing a surge in phishing emails and texts in recent months.
Globally, we are seeing that firms with a smaller number of employees were disproportionally affected by higher breach costs, which in the context of Ireland means that most of the indigent industries operating here need to pay attention to cybersecurity. Globally, we saw that only about half of those who suffered a breach actually plan to invest more in their cybersecurity programme, post breach.
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in Ireland and although this can be seen as generally positive it does incur additional cyber security risks. However, AI and automation had the biggest impact on speed of breach identification and containment for studied organisations. So now is the time to understand to the technologies and strategies that best protect your data.”