New Data Breach Report: Malicious Attacks Doubled in 2009

Linda McGlasson writes about Ponemon’s new report:

… The number of malicious or criminal attack-related breaches was 24 percent — double the 12 percent of the 2009 study. “They are the most costly, and the types of attacks we found included botnet attacks and data-stealing malware,” Ponemon says. “There is more to worry about because I see this as a growing category. This number of criminal attacks will continue to increase in the foreseeable future.”

The cost of a malicious breach ($215) is higher than that of a negligent insider or systems glitch, which average $154 and $166.


One of the driving costs of data breaches is the loss of business that comes as a result. Abnormal churn or turnover rates of customers resulting directly from a data breach is slightly higher than last year, (up from 3.6 percent to 3.7 percent in 2010). The industries with the highest churn rates are pharmaceuticals, communications and healthcare (6 percent); then financial services at 5 percent.

The industries with the lowest abnormal churn rates are manufacturing, energy and media (below 1 percent), followed by technology and retail (2 percent), Ponemon says. While financial services is in the middle of the pack when looking at churn rates, he warns that this number may not be measurable for financial institutions. “In our model, we can’t do an absolute churn for financial services. In our study, the move away from an institution that has suffered a breach is less noticeable right away.”

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