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26 February 2008, 08:35

UK data leaks cost £47 per record

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New research shows that the biggest contributors to the cost of data leaks are lost laptops and lost business. Research by the Ponemon Institute has revealed the true cost of UK personal data leakage as between £42 and £59 per record, with an average of £47. A third of the cost is associated with repercussions such as lost business, and just under a third is expended in detection and escalation. Notification costs are negligible in comparison.

The biggest contributors to data loss are lost devices such as laptops, accounting for 36 per cent of breaches. Paper records follow not far behind at 24 per cent. Twelve per cent of losses are attributed to outsourcers and consultants, and only nine per cent to technical attacks.

The researchers attribute a mere three per cent of data leaks to insiders. However, this figure is in stark contrast to the findings of other recent research from the US which suggests there is endemic and largely undetected abuse of access to personal data by staffers.

Startling as these figures are, it must be remembered that this is benchmark research on a small sample (21 respondents, half of which are financials), and Ponemon caution against extrapolating their findings indiscriminately.

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