Hackers are costing UK businesses an average of £2.37m per attack, according to research from IBM and the Ponemon Institute.
The figure was revealed in the firms' joint 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study: United Kingdom threat report, which collected and analysed data from 39 unnamed companies.
"The average per capita cost of a data breach for the 39 companies increased from £95 to £104, and the total average organisational cost increased from £2.21m to £2.37m in 2015," read the report.
The increased cost is largely down to the greater sophistication of cyber criminals' attack techniques, according to the report, which lets them compromise more records than before.
"The number of breached records per incident this year ranged from 4,520 to 67,800, and the average number of breached records was 21,695," it said.
"According to this year's benchmark findings, data breaches cost companies an average of £104 per compromised record, of which £54 pertains to indirect costs including abnormal turnover or churn of customers and £50 to direct costs."
Financial services, pharmaceuticals, communications, energy and technology companies were listed as the worst affected industries.
Financial services companies lost £156 per compromised record, while pharmaceutical firms lost £149.
Communications firms lost £124 per record breached, while energy and technology companies lost an average of £119 and £112 respectively.
The research highlighted cybercrime, human error and "tech glitches" as the primary causes of compromises.
"Forty nine percent of incidents involved a malicious or criminal attack, and 23 percent experienced system glitches, including a combination of IT and business process failures," read the report.
"Twenty eight percent of organisations reported human error or employee negligence as the root cause."
Human error is an ongoing problem in this area. Verizon said in April that a lack of employee awareness about cyber security is a key reason that one in four phishing attacks result in success.
The report revealed that companies investing in employee cyber awareness programmes and encryption technologies fared far better during data breaches.
"Extensive use of encryption, incident response plans, business continuity management involvement, board-level involvement, employee training, CISO appointments and insurance protection result in cost savings," read the research.
"The most profitable investments are extensive use of encryption, incident response planning, business continuity management, board-level involvement, employee training, the appointment of a CISO with enterprise-wide responsibility and insurance protection."
The news comes during a widely reported war on encryption during which the US and UK governments have hinted at plans to hamper firms' ability to encrypt data.
Specifically, the US has proposed legislation that would let security agencies legally collect and decrypt data from communications devices, while the UK government has proposed plans to revisit the notorious Snoopers' Charter.
The moves have been met with hostility by businesses. Pretty Good Privacy encryption creator and Silent Circle chief Phil Zimmermann announced plans earlier this week to move his company from the US to Switzerland, fearing that the reforms would turn the country into a "surveillance state".
Over 140 big-name companies, academics and white hat researchers, including Apple and Google, warned US president Barack Obama to cease the government's war on encryption, or face economic disaster, in a letter to the White House last week.
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