What Are the True Costs of Data Breaches?

BAMS offers everything new and experienced merchants alike need to ensure that their customers’ sensitive payment data is always as safe as possible. We provide every one of our merchants with expert guidance through the sometimes complex process of becoming fully PCI compliant.

The most valuable thing being mined in the modern digital world isn’t gold, diamonds, or oil – it’s data. And with the value of that data being so high, it’s no surprise that there are bad actors constantly trying to steal it. 51% of all data breaches are the result of malicious or criminal attacks according to the 2019 Ponemon Institute Cost of a Data Breach Study, making it clear why it’s so important that companies take cybersecurity as seriously as possible. The costs of failing to do so are massive, as there are significant penalties and damages involved when consumers’ private data is exposed without their permission. Those costs include short-term and long-term financial impacts, as well as major damage to company reputation.

Short-Term Financial Costs

The vast majority – roughly two-thirds – of costs associated with a data breach happen in the first year after the breach is discovered. Those costs can be enormous, and they generally get higher the longer a breach is in effect. That’s bad news considering that the 2019 report found that the average lifespan of a breach is 279 days, up almost 5% from 2018. The overall average cost of a data breach across the globe is $3.92 million, but the average cost in the United States is much, much higher, at $8.19 million. Worldwide costs also depend heavily on industry, with healthcare being by far the costliest, with an average breach resulting in costs of almost $6.5 million.

 

Long-Term Financial Costs

The remaining third of data breach costs occur beyond the one-year mark, and breaches can result in unforeseen costs for years to come, with 22% in year two on average, and 11% in the years beyond. That’s indicative of the fact that it can be extremely difficult for companies to recover from a data breach, due to both legal costs and costs associated with technological and security upgrades. That’s especially true in highly regulated industries like healthcare, where a much larger percentage of breach costs occur in year two and beyond. 

 

Trust and Reputation Costs

The financial costs of data breaches are severe enough on their own, but the cost to a company’s reputation can be equally devastating. Trust is one of the most fundamental aspects of any business relationship, but it’s especially important when it comes to consumers offering up their sensitive and highly valuable payment information during eCommerce transactions. A user impacted by a data breach will understandably lose trust in the offending company’s ability to protect that same data during future transactions (or possibly even their trust in eCommerce altogether). That trust, once broken, is incredibly difficult to rebuild, representing a major non-financial hurdle for companies that fall victim to breaches to overcome.

 

BAMS offers everything new and experienced merchants alike need to ensure that their customers’ sensitive payment data is always as safe as possible. We provide every one of our merchants with expert guidance through the sometimes complex process of becoming fully PCI compliant, ensuring that no BAMS merchant will ever fall victim to an attack due to a failure to meet PCI requirements. Our EMV-compliant payment terminals are compliant with all regulatory requirements throughout North America and Europe in regards to chip card payments. Finally, IRIS CRM, the industry-leading customer resource management platform that all BAMS merchants receive free access to, is fully PCI Level 1 compliant and goes through regular penetration testing and security assessments to ensure it’s totally secured against even the newest cyber threats.

For more information on how a BAMS merchant account can help you ensure the safeguarding of your customers’ data and their trust in your brand, request your five step price comparison today.