The Ponemon Institute, which has studied the costs of data breaches for several years, has determined that the average per record cost of such breaches is finally on the decline. According to Dr. Larry Ponemon, the Institute's founder, however, this does not mean that businesses and other organizations should cut back on their investment in the kinds of robust IT solutions that help to prevent intrusions. "The moral of the story is organizations need to be vigilant," remarked Ponemon. "You need to keep your eye on the ball."
The data breach study was conducted with the assistance of Symantec, which makes a variety of security products including anti-virus engines and firewall programs. The report, which is produced on an annual basis, indicated that the costs of a data breach now average less than $195 per record. Last year, that figure was nearly $215.
Ponemon has some theories as to why the average cost of intrusions is on the decline. In his view, one reason for the lowered cost is a sea change in the nature of breaches being conducted against United States businesses. According to Ponemon, breaches designed to capture intellectual property are on the increase, yet this type of breach is not included in the annual cost research conducted by the institute, which concentrates only on a breach involving personal records.
Ponemon specifically noted that data loss prevention is difficult to do on a manual basis and businesses need to use the right tools. One such tool is a managed services model because it provides continuous monitoring of the IT security provisions in place.