By John Sileo, [cc id=’csid’] consumer security expert

Businesses everywhere are under assault. Thieves want to access your customer databases, employee records, intellectual property and ultimately your bottom line. More than 80% of businesses surveyed have already experienced at least one breach.

Combine this with the average cost to repair data loss—a stunning $7.2 million per incident—and you have a profit-driven mandate to change the way you protect information inside of your organization.

Let’s do the math. Here is a quick ROI formula for your risk:

  1. Add up the total number of customer, employee and vendor database records you collect that contain a name, address, email, credit card number, SSN, Tax ID Number, phone number, address, or PIN.
  2. Multiply that number by $250, a conservative average of the per-record cost of lost data.
  3. The result? The projected cost to restore your business’ lost data.

So, if you have identifying information for 10,000 individuals, your out-of-pocket expenses, including breach recovery, notification, lawsuits, etc., are estimated at $2.5 million even if you don’t lose a SSN or TIN. And that cost doesn’t necessarily factor in the public relations and stock value damage done when you make headlines in the papers.

There are solutions, however, to minimize these costs. Invest in risk management solutions or take precautions with a high return. See my 7 Steps to Secure Profitable Business Data for ideas.

Statistics according to the Ponemon Institute

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