The 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study: A Global Overview

Veriphyr proactively reports impermissible use of PHI the first time it happens.



In July, the Ponemon Institute released The 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study: A Global Overview. The study highlights the magnitude of the challenge organizations face protecting private information.

Health care providers, who work exclusively with private information, should take particular care.

Globally, malicious breaches make up 48% of all data breaches, system glitches 25%, and employee error 27% (a). In healthcare, employee breaches make up the vast majority of patient privacy violations.


Superlatives for Canada and the United States

According to the study, data breaches cost the most in the United States, with an average total cost of $7.91 million. Included in this number is the price of notifying governing bodies and those effected: $740,000, the highest in the world, in the US (a).

While the US has the highest average per capita cost at $233, Canada comes in a close second at $202.

The highest direct costs belong to the Great White North at $81 per record stolen (c). Direct costs include forensic experts, lawyers, identity protection and credit monitoring services.

It is yet to be seen how the recent passing of the Digital Privacy Act in Canada will effect these numbers.


Changes From Last Year

Among the findings, the Institute discovered that data breaches have become even more likely. In 2018, the probability of a breach effecting over 1,000 records occurring is 27.9% (a).

In addition, the average cost per stolen record increased by 4.8 percent  to $148 this year (c). The global average cost of a breach is $3.86 million, up 6.4 percent from 2017 (c).


Preventative Measures

One of the most remarkable findings of the study is that it takes an average of 197 days to identify that a breach has occurred. Specifically, the US and Canada take 201 and 181 days, respectively (a). This does not need to be the case.


“The faster a data breach can be identified and contained, the lower the costs”

– The 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study: A Global Overview


Security analytics, one of the main functions of Veriphyr, saves organizations $6.9 on the per capital cost of data breaches. In addition, Veriphyr prides itself on reporting patient privacy violations the first time they happen.


Note: All costs cited are expressed in terms of American dollars.



(a) The 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study: A Global Overview – Ponemon Institute, July 2018

(b) Cost of a Data Breach Study – IBM

(c)  Canada: New 2018 Cost Of Data Breaches Study Released – August 21, 2018