Average cost per data breach incident in the Middle East Stands at $6.53 million

Average cost per data breach incident in the Middle East Stands at $6.53 million

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 which 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 professional in organizations that suffered a data breach over the past year.

“IBM has been in the region for more than 70 years. Over the decades, we have been playing a vital role in shaping the region’s technology landscape and accelerating the digital transformation journeys of our customers,” Hossam Seif El-Din, Vice President, Enterprise & Commercial, IBM Middle East and Africa. “Cybersecurity has become overly complex. Through our deep understanding of the region’s security environment and challenges, we are always ready to help equip governments and businesses with the solutions and skills to be prepared against inevitable cyber threats. With 8,000 professionals around the world, IBM today has industry’s largest, dedicated security services team.”

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.