Monday, September 7, 2009

Real Cost of a Security Breach?

There is a standard benchmark used to calculate the cost of a security breach: about $200 per account compromised. But often the compromise is not based on, say, compromised payment cards. Sometimes there is a whole lot of other damage that can run up the bill.

I just saw this article that places the cost of one security breach at a municipal government near London at $822,000. The source of the breach was an infected USB drive that spread a virus throughout the organization. The costs included library fines that couldn't be levied and a lot of parking tickets and fines that were lost. Oh, it cost about $600K in emergency IT effort to fix the damage to the network and systems.

Lesson one: breaches really are expensive.

Lesson two: do you have policies for flash drives (aka, memory sticks) on your campus? Do you enforce them?

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