Working with the renowned Ponemon Institute who publishes the annual Cost of a Data Breach survey, IBM has developed ‘Cost of Breach Reports‘ that let you know empirically how much would a data breach cost your business.

This handy tool leverages all the latest Ponemon Institute 2014 data and takes into account multiple factors, like the size of your company or where you’re located, to give you a very clear understanding of how a data breach can impact your business.

According to this year’s Ponemon data, the average cost per compromised record is $213, and if you multiply that by 23,647, the average number of breached records in 2013, you’re looking at an average loss figure of over $5 million.

In addition to the monetary losses of suffering a data breach, it’s important to understand the reputation drop you’ll incur- this research from SafeNet reminds us that 65% (or more) of customers are unlikely to do business with a company again after a financial data breach.

If your organization already uses Card Recon or Enterprise Recon, you already have the ability to calculate the total amount of sensitive data found on a single system, or across the entire network (Enterprise Recon only). Simply take these numbers and measure them according to IBM’s Cost Of Breach Reports. This helps your company be aware of hefty losses that may occur in the future.

In fact, you may find propositions you’ve been presenting within the business for improvements in data security will rapidly move up the priority list based on this data alone. The simplest strategy you can employ is finding and then removing all sensitive data, leaving nothing for hackers to steal – $213 * 0 = $0.00.

If you don’t have an accurate count of what sensitive data is being stored, take Ground Labs’ data discovery tool, Card Recon , for a spin. It takes less than a minute to start.

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