Cost of U.S. Breaches North of $3 Trillion?

We have bad news and worse news. In the last decade, the U.S. has lost more than $1.6 trillion due to data breaches. What could be worse than this? This information is based on reported breaches and news reports. Companies are routinely bankrupted due to breaches. These costs aren’t factored it. Other companies handle breaches internally, without letting anyone know.

The real number could easily be over $3 trillion when factoring in productivity loss, customer loss and reputational damage.

Comparitech has compiled the information and had this to say – which sadly backs up what we have seen in the field:

The researchers agree that the real numbers are higher as some breach reports do not disclose the number of records exposed; furthermore, the information “might be unknown or below the threshold imposed by the state,” or new details may emerge at a later date.

Here are key findings:

  • California suffered the most data breaches and also had the most records exposed: 1,493 breaches since 2008, affecting nearly 5.6 billion records in total.
  • That’s twice as many breaches as the runner up, New York, followed by Texas, Florida, and Georgia.
  • South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Hawaii suffered the fewest data breaches, each of them having had under 30 in total over the entire decade.
  • Since 2008, 9,696 data breaches occurred across the US involving more than 10.7 billion records.
  • The cost of each lost or stolen record is an average of $148, which amounts to more than $1.6 trillion lost since 2008.
  • 2017 set a record for the most US data breaches: 1,683 in total.
  • 2016 takes the top spot for number of records exposed: 4.6 billion.

Also worthy of note:

New York reported about half as many as California at 729 but its population is about half of the Golden State so this number makes sense on the face of it.



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