The just-released annual IBM/Ponemon Cost of a Data Breach study reveals that the cost of a data breach is down globally by 10 percent, but up in the United States by five percent.

Three factors that likely contributed to breach costs dropping outside the US:

  1. Organizations are investing more in preventive measures.
  2. A strong US dollar lowered the cost of breaches overseas.
  3. Centralized regulation and uniform privacy policies elsewhere simplify the response to breaches.

Researchers point to time taken to find and contain the breach, number of records stolen, escalation of the incident, cost of notifying victims, and unexpected customer loss as the main drivers of overall cost. In the United States, the average breach cost per company is $690,000, which is more than double any of the other nations surveyed.

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