The Ponemon Institute, an independent IT research organisation, has released its annual global security study looking at the incidence of data breaches.
The report questioned 314 companies in 10 countries over the past two years, with companies drawn from 16 industry sectors.
According to the report, titled 2014 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis, the average total cost of a data breach for the surveyed companies increased 15% to $US3.5 million ($A3.75m), while the average cost paid for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information increased more than 9% from $US136 in 2013 to $US145 in this year’s study.
The report gave Australian companies a tick of approval in keeping data breaches to a minimum in comparison to companies surveyed from other countries.
“According to the findings, organizations in India and Brazil are more likely to have a data breach involving a minimum of 10,000 records. In contrast, organizations in Germany and Australia are least likely to have a breach,” the report says.
Australian companies were also found to have among the lowest average number of breached records; one of the lowest average per capita cost of breached data; and also one of the lowest average total organisational cost of data breach.
The report says malicious or criminal attacks on data security proved to be the most costly to companies across the board, with malicious code and sustained probes emerging as the biggest threat to company security over the past two years.