Two-thirds of US companies would pay to avoid public shaming scandals after a breach

Razvan Muresan

February 16, 2017

Two-thirds of US companies would pay to avoid public shaming scandals after a breach

Some 66% of companies would pay an average of $124k to avoid public shaming scandals following a security breach, according to a Bitdefender survey of 250 IT decision makers in the United States in companies with more than 1,000 PCs.



Some 14 percent would pay more than $500k, confirming that negative media headlines could have substantial financial consequences. In a recent case, officials from Verizon, which agreed to buy Yahoo’s core properties for $4.83 billion in July, told reporters that the company has “a reasonable basis” to suspect that the Yahoo security breach, one of the largest ever, could have a meaningful financial impact on the deal, according to multiple reports.

This further highlighted the risk that cyber incidents could eventually destroy significant transactions or even whole under the enormous pressure from both stakeholders and media. In the minds of board members, IT decision makers in C-level suites deserve the blame for breaches. Failure to mitigate and act quickly and efficiently in case of a breach can cost CIOs and IT manager their jobs.

IT decision makers must fight against modern threats in a brutal reality where cybercrime led to estimated financial losses of more than $500 billion in 2015 alone, - and that may be doubling in 2016. From ransomware attacks aimed at a quick buck, to APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats) aimed at siphoning intellectual property and customer data, cybercrime has also become a highly profitable industry. Many of these complex attacks have been successful, realizing Bitdefender’s predictions about the complex threat landscape in 2016.

The survey also revealed that 73% of IT decision makers fear having to pay financial compensation in case of a security breach, while 66% even fear their own job safety. Moreover, seven out of 10 IT decision makers are concerned or completely concerned regarding the security management of hybrid infrastructures – a mix of public cloud services and privately owned data centers.

This research was conducted in October 2016 by iSense Solutions for Bitdefender on 250 IT security purchase professionals (CIOs/CEOs/ CISOs – 26 percent, IT managers/directors – 56 percent, IT system administrators – 10 percent, IT support specialists – 5 percent, and others), from enterprises with 1,000+ PCs based in the United States of America.

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Razvan Muresan

Former business journalist, Razvan is passionate about supporting SMEs into building communities and exchanging knowledge on entrepreneurship. He enjoys having innovative approaches on hot topics and thinks that the massive amount of information that attacks us on a daily basis via TV and internet makes us less informed than we even think. The lack of relevance is the main issue in nowadays environment so he plans to emphasize real news on Bitdefender blogs.

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