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Cost of Data Breaches to Hit $2.1 Trillion by 2019

Juniper Research has released a new report suggesting the cost of data breaches will hit $2.1 trillion by 2019 as a result of the increase in cybercrime and the sheer scale of data that will be recorded on consumers’ lives.

The Future of Cyber Crime & Security


The new reportThe Future of Cybercrime & Security: Financial & Corporate Threats & Mitigation – offers an in depth analysis of the current digital security landscape and the threats now being faced, and creates a roadmap for the evolution of connected devices to predict the effect that data breaches will have over the course of the next four years.

While security of the Internet of Things is getting a lot of attention at present, Juniper Research calculates the actual risk of data exposure to be minimal, certainly over the next four years. The real threat, and where the majority of data breaches will occur, is the current IT infrastructure according to Juniper. Network servers, laptop computers and other endpoints will continue to be the major locations of breaches.

The report suggests that the threat from mobile devices will remain relatively low, as there are more reliable and profitable ways to obtain healthcare data. Malware, phishing, spear-phishing and other hacking methods will continue to be used to gain access to endpoints and network servers. The slow rate of change on PCs especially, is seen as being one of the main ways hackers will gain access to healthcare data.

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Successful Cyberattacks to Increase


Juniper has observed that over time, hacking incidents are becoming much more professional in nature and it is no longer activists who are breaking into systems. Cybercrime has become big business, so much so that some criminals are offering malware generation software for this exact purpose.

As defenses improve and casual attacks continue to decline, the number of security incidents should also decline; however the report suggests that the number of successful attacks – those in which data is obtained – is likely to increase.

Data Breach Costs to Rise to $150 Million for a Successful Attack


In order to determine future breach costs, Juniper calculated a baseline of $6 million as the global average cost of a data breach in 2015. It estimated the cost to be higher in North America and Europe than other, less technologically developed nations. The company then determined that the cost by 2019 will hit $2.1 trillion with the average cost of a data breach rising to $150 million, and also said that the majority of the data breaches would occur in the U.S. It predicts 60% of global data breaches in 2015 will occur in North America.

The value of healthcare data and Social Security numbers will continue to rise, and criminals are expected to make use of the data collected by the huge variety of sensors that will be introduced to the market over the coming years, in addition to the many that are already being used.

The data may not be useful to criminals for the purposes of fraud, but the information is of great value as business intelligence. This is seen as being a huge area of criminal activity in the near future, if it is not already.

Industry experts have predicted that while the immediate threat from the Internet of Things is relatively low, this will likely change in the medium term.

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.