In the past 18 months, there has been a steady procession of stories about top U.S. companies that have suffered major network intrusions. The companies come from a diverse cross-section of the economy, including the technology, telecommunications, finance, retail, energy and health care sectors. Some have entered into multi-million dollar settlements with consumers, some have paid hefty regulatory fines and some are embroiled in costly litigation. And the costs associated with such intrusions continue to rise.
Companies interviewed by the Ponemon Institute for its “2010 Report on the Cost of a Data Breach” reported an average cost of $7.2 million for responding to a breach, up 7 percent from the previous year. The value of proprietary information stolen from U.S. companies’ networks over the last year was nearly $500 billion, according to Congressman Mike Rogers, chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.