IT | Security

Breach-Related Class Action Suits a Major Concern

By: Absolute Editorial Team | 12/10/2014

When it comes to data breaches, one often hears talk of the hard costs. What we don’t talk about often are the costs associated with litigation. Class action lawsuits are common - and costly - with the possibility of dragging on for many years.

Ponemon’s Cost of Data Breach study shows that the average cost of a data breach is $3.5 million, up 15% from the 2013 cost. This cost measurement includes direct costs as well as indirect and opportunity costs associated with the breach. CSO Magazine’s estimate of data breach costs, minus legal liabilities and lawsuits, indicates an average cost of $415,000. This shows that the legal costs and the loss of consumer faith contribute greatly to the overall cost of a data breach.

Many organizations that experience data breaches are finding themselves dealing with class-action lawsuits. Home Depot faces a half-billion-dollar lawsuit following its breach and Coca-Cola recently found itself facing a class action suit alleging “grossly negligent conduct” in not properly protecting the stolen laptops that led to the breach of employee information. Target, Neiman Marcus, and other notable breaches of the year have also faced class action lawsuits. These lawsuits have the potential to drag out for many years, as we saw in the recent $32.5 million settlement associated with the loss of paper records 17 years ago by Tenet Healthcare.

Earlier this year, Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report indicated that 60% of the large data breaches could have been prevented by encrypting the covered entities and business associates’ laptops and mobile devices. As only the most basic means of endpoint security, it is possible to achieve even greater endpoint security. 

Even incidents involving small figures have the potential to be very costly. Whatever the size of the incident, prevent it from turning into a multi-million-dollar liability by looking into endpoint security that protects all your endpoints - whether corporate-owned or BYOD, regardless of device type or OS - with Absolute Computrace.