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Security Breaches Cost $90 To $305 Per Lost Record

While security breaches can cost a company dearly when it comes to a marred public image and a loss in customer confidence, the actual financial costs can be staggering.

The average security breach can cost a company between $90 and $305 per lost record, according to a new study from Forrester Research. The research firm surveyed 28 companies that had some type of data breach.

"After calculating the expenses of legal fees, call centers, lost employee productivity, regulatory fines, stock plummets, and customer losses, it can be dizzying, if not impossible, to come up with a true number," wrote senior analyst Khalid Kark in the report. "Although studies may not be able to determine the exact cost of a security breach in your organization, the loss of sensitive data can have a crippling impact on an organization's bottom line, especially if it is ill-equipped, and it's important to be able to make an educated estimate of its cost."

Kark said calculating the cost of a breach is murky territory and he did the survey to shed some light on the costs associated with breaches, which seem to be reported with increasing frequency.

A recent Forrester survey found that 25% of respondents do not know, or do not know how to determine, the cost of data security breaches. Kark said the majority of organizations will incur a wide array of associated costs, sometimes significant enough to even put them out of business

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