The Asia-Pacific is a region of unique contracts — rules, customs, cultures, languages, food and more. However, there is a common thread that glues the region together: On the whole, it is growing. Per capita income is rising, and so is consumerism. Markets are growing at a remarkable rate and show no signs of slowing. Organizations are embracing cloud, mobile and social technology at an unprecedented speed.

But there is another side of the coin: All this growth is leading to a rise in cyberattacks, and the region has become a key target for the bad guys. Organizations know that data breaches can be damaging and carry big costs. But how much?

Breaking Down the Cost of a Data Breach by Country

The Ponemon Institute’s “2017 Cost of Data Breach Study,” sponsored by IBM, looked at the qualitative and quantitative aspects of a data breach, and examined ways to reduce the cost.

According to the study, the average cost of a data breach in India was 110 million rupees ($1.7 million) in 2016, a 12 percent rise year over year, and 2.51 million Australian dollars ($1.9 million) in Australia, a 5 percent decrease from the previous year. Meanwhile, the average cost of a breach in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) totaled 3.18 million Singapore dollars ($2.3 million).

The cost associated with a data breach varies by industry as well as geography. Needless to say, some industries are more at risk than the others. In India, the top three sectors in terms of average cost per record were services (6,175 rupees), financial (5,836 rupees) and industrial (5,505 rupees).

In Australia, the financial sector suffered the largest cost per record (380 Australian dollars), followed by services (336 Australian dollars) and technology (274 Australian dollars). The financial industry (247 Singapore dollars) also topped the list in the ASEAN region, with transportation (194 Singapore dollars) and technology (180 Singapore dollars) rounding out the top three.

Reducing the Cost of a Data Breach

To reduce the cost of a data breach, companies should establish incident response teams, use encryption extensively, appoint a chief information security officer (CISO) to oversee the security program and participate in threat sharing. In addition to these security basics, employee training is crucial.

Of course, every company is different, and the cost of a data breach depends heavily on the organization’s industry and security posture. Use IBM Security’s Cost of Data Breach Calculator to determine what a potential data breach could cost your organization.

For more detailed findings and recommendations, download the country-specific reports for India, Australia and ASEAN.

Download the 2017 Cost of Data breach Report: ASEAN

more from Data Protection