How Much Does a Data Breach Cost?

There was another big data breach in the news today. Did you see it?

All of the reports said hundreds of millions of records were stolen. They all gloss over the details with the same cold, ruthless efficiency they use to tell us about how well the stock market performed. They said emails, passwords, social security numbers, and medical records were all taken. Then, just as soon as the report aired, it ended. That was it. We can now all now go on about our daily lives again like nothing ever happened. 

But, you and I, we know the real story.

We know that thousands of people have their identities stolen each day, even children who have never had a line of credit. That will make an interesting present for their 18th birthday. We know that email an elderly woman received impersonating her doctor was not a random event—it was a targeted attack. We know those precious pictures of a newborn baby that now sit encrypted on a hard drive are priceless, no matter how much a bitcoin costs. We know that picking up the pieces of a life that was shattered due to the negligence of a company that failed to do the right thing is the hardest thing someone can face alone. We know that behind every data breach lies the potential to further weaken our trust in institutions, a cornerstone on which our economy is built.

That is why we wake up each morning and do what we do. It is our job to help keep any one of these stories from happening to the people we serve. All of whom are our neighbors, friends, family members, and fellow citizens. We defend their sensitive data from the criminal intent that would erode the foundation of our society and watch us all crumble for malicious gain.

We know that a breach is not about how many records were stolen or how many files were encrypted, it is instead about how many lives were adversely affected and how much we all stand to lose in the end. 

We stand together, proud to be Information Security professionals. It is not just a job. It is a calling.

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