IBM Security highlights the financial impact of data breaches across KSA and UAE

IBM Security announced today the results of a Middle East study examining the financial impact of data breaches on organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Based on the in-depth analysis, the cost of a data breach in KSA and UAE has risen by 9.4% over the past year. These incidents cost companies studied in the region $6.53 million per breach on average, which is higher than the global average of $3.86 million per breach and is the second-highest average breach cost amongst the 17 regions studied.

In KSA and UAE, breaches cost companies $188 per lost or stolen record on average, which represents an increase of 8.5% from 2019. Healthcare was found to incur the highest per-record cost of a data breach, followed by Financial Services and then Technology.

The study found that malicious attacks were the root cause for 59% of data breaches in KSA and UAE, followed by system glitches at 24% and human error at 17%. Data breaches that originated from a malicious attack were not only the most common root cause of a breach but also the most expensive, costing companies in KSA and UAE an average total cost per data breach of $6.86 million.

Sponsored by IBM Security and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report is based on in-depth interviews with more than 3,200 security professionals in organizations that suffered a data breach over the past year.

For the past six years, the Ponemon Institute has examined factors that increase or reduce the cost of a breach in KSA and UAE and has found that the speed and efficiency at which a company responds to a breach has a significant impact on the overall cost. This year’s report found the average time for companies in KSA and UAE to first identify a data breach after it occurs has decreased from 279 to 269 days, with an additional 100 days to contain the breach.