The average cost of a data breach for UK businesses is a whopping £3.2m, coming in at £128 a record, with phishing and stolen credentials the top methods of hack attack.
So says a new report by IBM Security, which reveals the UK is in sixth place overall when it comes to which country pays out the most.
Even so, the cost of a UK data breach is slightly lower than the worldwide average of £3.4m, despite the fact that financial services (£8.4m) and healthcare (£4.6m) sectors are lumbered with much larger bills.
Forbes Advisor business expert Kevin Pratt said: “As businesses continue to store more sensitive data, it’s inevitable that once a breach happens, the cost of a breach increases.
“This report shows that the two major causes of data breaches are phishing (16%) and stolen credentials (15%). It also shows that the breaches caused by those types of attacks are the costliest, and technical issues such as system errors are the least common and least costly.”
Pratt maintains that the most important strategy is to prevent the breaches through effective information security measures, and these measures do not always need to be overly technical.
He continued: “One of the best ways to protect yourself from the costliest of breaches is to make sure that everyone involved in the business reduces the risk of their passwords and account information being compromised.
“This involves simple steps such as multiple factor authentication to sign into accounts, and regular reminders for staff to update their passwords and credentials through continuous training and awareness.”
Pratt concluded that use of personal devices for work purposes should be heavily discouraged as it gives less oversight to the business on account access, and opens new doors for malicious actors to steal credentials and account information.
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