How a data breach can cost your business for years


The repercussions of a data breach extend far beyond the immediate aftermath and often haunt a business for years. Only 51% of data breach costs occur within the first year of an incident, whilst 41% of the costs happen in the second year and beyond.

The Unseen Costs of a Data Breach

In May 2019, a cybersecurity breach at First American serves as a reminder of the far-reaching consequences of a data breach. In this case the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) imposed a $1 million fine in 2023 for failing to safeguard sensitive consumer information, this is just one example of how costs can be incurred long after an initial breach.

Financial Repercussions

The financial toll of a data breach can be significant, immediate costs of a breach include:

  • Breach detection
  • Containment
  • Customer notification

Beyond the above, businesses can face long-term expenses relating to legal battles, regulatory fines, and reparations.

Reputational Damage

The impact on a business’s reputation is arguably the most enduring consequence. Customers will lose trust in a company’s ability to protect their sensitive information, which can result in a decline in customer retention, as well as pose acquisition difficulties and long-lasting damage to the brand.

Regulatory Scrutiny

Regulatory bodies such as the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) are increasingly holding companies accountable for safeguarding consumer data. A data breach may lead to fines and ongoing compliance requirements.

Operational Disruption

The aftermath of a data breach disrupts day to day business operations whilst the business undertakes remediation efforts. In some severe cases downtime to a business can be anywhere between 1-2 weeks, if not longer.

To Summarise

The repercussions of a data breach extend far beyond the immediate incident and can impact the financial health and reputation of a business as well as its regulatory standing.

How Symetri can help

Regular security audits are crucial for businesses to secure their infrastructure against cyber hacks and attacks, which is often a requirement for government contracts and a mark of excellence for customers. As a Cyber Essentials certified business, we offer assistance in attaining your certification, and refer you to a certified body of the Cyber Essentials scheme.