Breach costs: ‘Chump change’ to bottom lines of big players

The direct costs of a data breach are barely a rounding error on the bottom line of the nation’s biggest organizations. But experts say indirect costs can still be significant. And for the vast majority of smaller players, the damage can be catastrophic

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Virtually everything reported about data breaches is about how expensive they are.

But apparently not for everybody. CBS MoneyWatch reported recently that one of the prime reasons the biggest companies don’t address their security vulnerabilities is that the cost of a breach – even what is viewed as a catastrophic breach – amounts to “chump change” as a percentage of overall revenue.

One example cited was the 2014 Home Depot breach, when hackers were able to steal 56 million credit and debit card numbers and 53 million email addresses. It cost the company, “only a net $28 million, after a $15 million insurance payment. That's less than 0.01 percent of the company's 2014 revenue,” the report said. It also apparently cost only 50 cents per card compromised.

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