The cost of a data breach increased last year to $204 per compromised customer record, according to the Ponemon Institute's annual study. The average total cost of a data breach rose from $6.65 million in 2008 to $6.75 million in 2009. The Ponemon Institute based its estimates on data from 45 companies that publicly acknowledged a breach of sensitive customer data last year and were willing to discuss it. In tallying the cost of a data breach, the Ponemon Institute looks at several factors, including: the cost of lost business because of an incident; legal fees; disclosure expenses related to customer contact and public response; consulting help; and remediation expenses such as technology and training.
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