Access and Feeds

Security: Cost of Breaches Passed onto Consumers as a ‘Cyber Tax’

By Dick Weisinger

Data breaches and the cost to clean up after them continue to increase. A recent IBM Security report made in collaboration with Ponemon found that the average cost of dealing with a data breach in 2022 is now estimated to be $4.35 million, up from $4.24 million in 2024.

The report found that more than a quarter of the breaches were identified as malicious and destructive with an intent to damage infrastructure. Infrastructure targets include the supply chain, healthcare, finance, industry, transportation, and government — it seems like not much was spared the persistent attacks of hackers.

The report notes that the cost of breaches typically gets passed along to consumers to bear. As a result of a breach, 60 percent of product and service prices were raised and passed along to consumers to cover the costs to address breaches.

John Hendley, Head of Strategy at IBM Security X-Force, said that “the cost is trickling down to consumers. In fact, if you consider that two or three companies within a supply chain may have suffered a breach and increased their prices, there’s this multiplier effect that’s ultimately hitting the consumer’s wallet. Essentially, we’re now beginning to see a hidden ‘cyber tax’ that individuals are paying due to the growing number of breaches occurring today compounded with the more obvious disruptive effects of cyberattacks.”

Chris McCurdy, Vice President and General Manager, IBM Security, said that “while data breach costs reached a record high over the past year, the report also showed positive signs about the impact of modern security tactics, such as AI, automation, and the adoption of a zero trust approach – which may pay off in reducing the cost of these incidents further down the line.”

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