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Most data breaches caused by human error, system glitches

Thor Olavsrud | June 18, 2013
Most data breaches are caused by human errors and system glitches. So, educating your employees and making sure they're not cutting corners is a big component in preventing data breaches.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Data Breaches
That, Hamilton says, is why companies with a CISO and incident response plan in place tend to experience lower costs from data breach incidents: companies that are prepared don't waste as much time and resources responding to an incident. In fact, the study found that three factors increase the cost per record of data breaches:

  • Third-party error (+$19)
  • Lost or stolen devices (+$8)
  • Rapid notification (+$7)

On the other hand, the study found that four factors decrease the cost per record of data breaches:

  • A strong security posture (-$15)
  • An incident response plan (-$13)
  • Appointment of a CISO (-$8)
  • Engagement of data breach remediation consultants (-$5)

Symantec outlined four best practices that companies can adopt to avoid the major causes of data breaches:

  • Educate employees and train them on how to handle confidential information.
  • Use data loss prevention technology to find sensitive data and protect it from leaving your organization.
  • Deploy encryption and strong authentication solutions.
  • Prepare an incident response plan including proper steps for customer notification.


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