The True Cost of Data Storage Attacks and Data Theft

We’ve all seen the headlines of high-profile security breaches of banks, retail chains and even small businesses. The stories usually include red-faced executives or IT personnel apologizing to customers and pledging to tighten security and change protocols. Sometimes people even get fired. Customers and clients are advised to change their passwords or get new credit cards and are usually left wondering if their identities will be stolen.

But after the stories die down and the headlines disappear, there’s one thing left: a huge price tag.

Data Breaches and Hacks Come in All Sizes

The cost to businesses of a data breach is more than just lost customers, lost confidence and lost reputations. Recovering from a data breach costs real money. It’s not just the cost of buying new, more secure equipment, establishing new protocols, firewalls or encryption software. It also includes the cost of new personnel, new training, meeting new security requirements from regulators, paying fines and, increasingly, defending against class-action lawsuits by customers that usually result in a large pay-out.


  • Equifax: The 2017 breach of Equifax, the large financial reporting firm, quickly became the costliest data breach in history after personal information – including social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, even drivers’ license numbers – of 143 million consumers was exposed. Equifax immediately lost $4 billion in stock market value, while the actual cost of the breach has exceeded $90 million so far. On top of that, its income for the third quarter fell 27%.
  • Washington State University: A hard drive with 1 million individual’s personal information was nabbed from a $126-per-month self-storage locker in April. The university experienced significant hard costs of more than $630,000 from the breach, including the deductible for their cybersecurity insurance, compensation to those affected, and mailing costs to notify patients. More costs are expected when the federal government assesses its fines, on top of the cost of defending a federal class-action lawsuit contending that the University failed to notify victims until months after the breach was discovered.

These are some of the bigger and most costly data breaches in 2017, but there were many smaller breaches affecting small and medium-sized businesses that were just as devastating on a relative scale.

Nearly five million data records are lost or stolen worldwide every single day, according to the Breach Level Index. That’s a staggering 58 records every second.

The estimates the global average cost to a business at $3.6 million, or $141 per data record. While this is less than the average in 2016, the size of the average breach has exploded since then. And while $3.6 million per breach seems like a lot, that’s nearly half the average U.S. cost, where breaches weigh in at staggering $7.3 million.

For the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May, and the cost of non-compliance could explode as a result. Similarly, Congress is considering several measures that would assess massive fines and even jail time for data breaches.

Network-Attached Storage (NAS) System: A Better Solution 

The bottom line in all of these data breaches? They were preventable. And even after it was known that these systems were attacked it was often a slow and difficult process to recover and fully understand what was compromised.

An architecture solution with cyber resiliency and rapid recovery would have enabled them to restore operations quickly as well as notify customers and individuals who were affected almost immediately. And while it is important to stay current with patches and processes to prevent attacks it is just as important to have solutions and processes to stop and recover from an attack against your data.

Hackers won’t be slowing down in 2018. Are you ready? Because this is a “biggest and best list” you never want to make.

RackTop: The All in One Data Storage and Management Solution

RackTop’s flagship products offer an all-in-one data storage management and cybersecurity platform solution integrated with advanced encryption and compliance features – all with a user-friendly design and intuitive interface.

Schedule a demo with RackTop today to find the best storage and data management solution for your company.