As we head into 2020, protecting your bottom line means understanding the risks of a data breach.

IBM’s Annual Cost of a Data Breach Report is out, and the results align with what many people already know: Data breaches have not only become more common, they have also become more costly.

It’s the continuation of a costly trend that’s impacting companies and consumers with frightening regularity, and businesses that aren’t planning to protect their data security aren’t looking out for their customers’ best interests or their own bottom lines.

The report found that the average data breach will cost companies $3.92 million. Even small businesses, which operate with more modest budgets and more limited data sets, can expect upward of $2 million in expenses that continue to plague companies years after a data loss.

Of course, data breaches are a bottom-line issue in many ways. Consumer sentiment is quickly shifting toward accountability for data privacy, which means that the less quantifiable reputation cost is just one customer-facing consequence of a data loss event. At the same time, global regulatory bodies have begun holding companies accountable for that data security, increasing the importance of getting this right.

Therefore, as we head into 2020, protecting the bottom line means understanding the risks of a data breach, and this information must lead to a comprehensive approach to data security that accounts for the most prominent risks.

The many ways that data loss costs companies

In many ways, data is the most valuable resource of the digital age. It’s the lifeblood of digital platforms that rely on this information to provide compelling, intuitive and seemingly magical online experiences.

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