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CIOs consider putting a price tag on data

Kim S. Nash | June 24, 2014
Figure out the dollar value of your information assets. Then you'll know what the 'I' in CIO is really worth -- and how much to spend protecting it.

All manner of personal and corporate data is for sale, from legitimate and black-market brokers alike. Quick-and-dirty Web research offers the following shopping list:

  • Individual criminal histories: $13.95
  • Database of U.S. physicians: $239.99
  • DNA test for tracing family history: $99
  • 4 million fresh email addresses: $75.95 per week
  • Major League Baseball game statistics feed: $1,900 per month
  • Consumer mailing list: 2.5 cents per record

While much of that data is inexpensive, the cost of a data breach is not: an average of $145 per record, according to Ponemon Institute. That can really add up if you lose millions of records.

There's a burgeoning underground market for stolen data, including a flood of purloined credit card numbers from the Target security breach that affected up to 110 million consumers. According to blog posts by cybercrime investigator Brian Krebs, the price of payment numbers stolen from Target ranges from $23.62 to $135 per card. He says the prices vary based on factors such as "the issuing bank, the type of card (debit or credit), how soon the card expires, and whether the card bears a special notation that often indicates a higher credit limit, such as a Platinum card."

-- Mitch Betts

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