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A new study by Kroll found that the financial cost of suffering a data breach has reached an all-time high. In most cases, the damage amounts to at least $5 million. About one third of companies said it cost them between $10 million and $25 million. 16% said it came to more than $25 million. This includes loss of market valuation.

When a company is attacked, the PR fallout is widespread. Customers, partners, and investors become wary. Stock prices fall. Attribution rates increase. New contracts are more difficult to obtain. It takes time to ride the wave of negative publicity and return things to some kind of normalcy.

What were the top causes of incidents, according to the study? Business email compromise via phishing scored high. 65% said it had become a problem in their organizations. 62% said the attack had come via the supply chain – an incident that originated with a third-party vendor.

Publicly exposed databases were third with 53%, followed by insider threats at 41%, and ransomware at 33%. This survey, though, focused squarely on finance teams. This may have skewed results more toward BEC and away from other threats such as ransomware.

Kroll also asked Chief Financial Officers about their confidence level in facing future attacks. The poll revealed what might be interpreted as a surprising level of overconfidence. While 87% expressed confidence in their organizations’ ability to thwart attacks, almost two third admitted that they had been subjected to at least three significant incidents in the previous 18 months.

Original study reviewed by

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