Hidden Cost of Data Breach and How to Prevent Them

Spiceware One
5 min readJul 21, 2022


Many businesses tend to underestimate the cost of a data breach. In the case of ransomware attacks, most think of the amount of damage as the amount that is not much different than the ransom the perpetrator is asking for. However, when data breach occurs, it is important to look closely at the “hidden costs” such as data recovery, business loss, reputational damage, among others.

To accurately evaluate the real cost of a data breach, activity-based costing should be considered. This includes not only the cost for a company to prepare for a data breach, but also the cost to determine the cause, scope and damage in the event of a data breach, and the activities to restore and improve systems and processes.

*Based on IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report (2021)

According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021, the average cost of data breach for a company is calculated through detection and escalation, notification, post breach response and lost business. This benchmark research utilizes an accounting methodology known as activity-based costing in order to accurately determine the actual cost of data breach of a company.

In addition activity-based costing, external consequences and costs should also be considered. This includes the cost of lost profits resulting from the failure to generate revenue due to service operation interruption, the cost of leakage or loss of important confidential information such as patents or core technologies due to security attacks, and fines according to the privacy laws and regulations of each country.

Perhaps the most expensive loss arises from loss of trust of the customers whose information has been compromised. ​Among the types of data compromised, Personally identifiable information (PII) comprised up to 44%. PII is categorized as sensitive information, which means a strict need-to-know basis should be employed when accessing and storing its data. If data leakage occurs in a company that handles sensitive information such as customers’ medical information and/or credit card information, their brand credibility will be lost and the value of the company will drop significantly.

*Based on IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report (2021)

Consumers are increasingly paying attention to the security capabilities of businesses, and feel that they cannot trust businesses that do not protect their personal data, which is one of the reasons why companies are concerned about the leakage of sensitive data and how to obtain digital trust with their customers. In reality, it is very costly for startups or small businesses to hire a team of security experts to comply with various privacy regulations, not to mention different environments employees are accessing the data from, in addition to various SaaS services they are utilizing, which is why it is necessary to establish security policies that fit the needs of the company while gaining “security visibility”.

Security visibility is, after all, directly related to the survival of a company. You can’t manage what you can’t see, and the data that you can’t manage is bound to be a weakness for your company’s security. For a company to establish safe security policies, the first step to take is to determine what “important assets” the company has, and determine the where and how to protect that data. In this process, the inconvenience of security policies can weaken the will of employees to comply with the security system, so companies should make sure that their security policies do not reduce their work efficiency or productivity.

Spiceware One ZTS is focused on achieving the highest level of security while maintaining work efficiency and productivity. As mentioned earlier, “data monitoring” is one of the most important factors in establishing and executing a company’s security strategy.

The service shows which employees are accessing through the internet and shows SaaS services they are using by time,IP address, and device. As a result, administrators can answer the most essential questions of cyber protection, that is, “who,” “what”, when,” and “where” internal systems were accessed and track the actions performed on the internet.

Data protection officer can block access to websites such as gambling, stock trading, shopping, and other illicit or unnecessary sites in advance, and set security policies to prevent access to the internal system outside of business hours or outside certain regions.

SpicewareOne ZTS Identifies Sensitive Level of Google Docs

In order to focus on protecting the data itself, visibility of data is crucial. The ZTS console records the dates of creation and modification of data in the cloud while showing who has access to the files, who created, modified and downloaded them. In addition, by analyzing what personal and sensitive information each file contains, the DPOs can easily see where important files are located and how they are distributed.

Access rights can be granted for each file so that employees who are not permitted cannot access or view the file. Whenever a file is modified, it is backed up safely to prevent accidental data loss. Even if infected with ransomware, all files can be restored at once, which is very convenient.

In the situation where the important data of an enterprise is scattered and copied through various SaaS, companies are constantly threatened by data leakage. ZTS console shows the number of users per SaaS platform for a specific period of time and monitor each user’s actions. By setting policies to encrypt certain data shared through SaaS based applications, unauthorized users will not be able to comprehend the data within.

Systematic management can change corporate culture, and protect company’s important assets from costly data breaches and attacks. After all, 99% of cyberattacks rely on human error. You can read more about it here.

Contact a cloud security expert at Spiceware to hear more about how to protect your data.



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