Over three-quarters of UK C-level executives have suffered a data breach at their company, and all have reported attempted attacks on their data in the past 12 months, according to new research from IBM.
The Business Case for Data Protection study, carried out by The Ponemon Institute, asked UK executives to consider the value of data security to their business.
The average cost of each data breach was estimated at £112 per compromised record, and the average cost savings or revenue improvements resulting from data protection programmes totalled £11m.
These costs come in much higher than those reported in a study by software encryption firm PGP in January, which found that the average cost of a UK data breach rose seven per cent over the past year to £64 per lost record.
Just 18 per cent of chief executives are 'very confident' that their organisation will not suffer a data breach within the coming year, but a reassuring 81 per cent said that investing in a security strategy can greatly reduce or mitigate the risk of data loss or theft.
"Once viewed as purely a technical issue, the responses garnered in our survey highlight a shift in how organisations treat their investments in security software," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of The Ponemon Institute.
"Today, C-level executives believe that the cost savings from investing in a data protection programme is substantially higher than the estimated value of recovering from a breach."
Additional results show that 76 per cent of respondents feel that reducing potential security flaws within business-critical applications is the most important aspect of a data protection programme.
"The results underscore the increased understanding among business leaders around the importance of addressing security defects at the earliest stages possible, before they become too costly to fix and cause irreversible harm and damage to the business," said Daniel Sabbah, general manager of IBM Rational.
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