Breaches of organizations that employ automation and AI in their security systems on average cost over $3 million less compared to businesses that have no such deployment. This takeaway comes from the latest annual Cost of a Data Breach report sponsored, analyzed and published by IBM Security™ using research conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

The Benefits of Automation Keep Growing

In 2021, the difference in cost between organizations with fully deployed automated security structures compared to those with no security automation in the report is a gap of USD 3.81 million.

The cost differences continue the trend indicated by previous Cost of a Data Breach reports of an increasingly wider gap between those with and without security automation shown in previous years. In 2020, organizations with a fully automated security structure paid USD 3.58 million less than those with no automation in place. The gap was USD 2.51 million in 2019.

Download the Report

At the same time, the share of businesses that have at least partially deployed security automation or AI increased six points from 2020 to 2021, from 59 percent to 65 percent. Respondents reporting fully deployed automation for the organizations in the same period went from 21 percent to 25 percent, while those respondents claiming partially deployed automation grew from 38 percent to 40 percent.

Automation and AI dramatically reduce the days needed to identify and contain a data breach. For organizations with fully deployed security AI or automation, it took an average of 184 days to identify the breach and 63 days to contain the breach, for a total lifecycle of 247 days. Organizations with no security AI or automation deployed took an average of 239 days to identify the breach and 85 days to contain, for a total lifecycle of 324 days.

To put this difference of 77 days into perspective, for fully deployed organizations, a breach occurring on 1 January would on average take until 4 September to identify and contain. In contrast, for organizations with no automation deployed, a breach on 1 January would take on average until 20 November to identify and contain.

The time it takes to identify and contain a breach has consistently been correlated with the overall cost of a breach. The longer threat actors are in an environment, the more opportunities they have to cause damage to systems and the broader the infection can become. Simply put, when it comes to breaches, time is money. Automation helps significantly reduce this time to find and repair any issues earlier and reduce costs associated with a data breach.

Automation and AI Benefits Extend Beyond Breaches

Automation and AI also act as force multipliers for an organization, increasing the effectiveness of the existing workforce while assuming responsibilities for mundane tasks. Beside saving costs, this gives security officers at a business more time and resources to focus on data breaches.

Additionally, some industries have extra regulatory requirements around their data, such as healthcare and finance. Automation and AI can parse different streams of data from different sources to maintain regulatory compliance. The healthcare and finance industries in particular have invested more resources in automation and AI for cybersecurity in recent years.

The process of incorporating security automation and AI can be challenging and complex to implement if there are no experts in the field within an organization. Fortunately, IBM Security offers external expertise to assist in fulfilling this need.

Take Time to Discover More

This blog is the third in a series covering security measures organization leaders can take to address data breaches, following zero trust and risk quantification. The next installment addresses a final element to consider, cloud security. For an overview of all these issues, read the report to learn more about what options exist to address a data breach.

More from Artificial Intelligence

Data Privacy: How the Growing Field of Regulations Impacts Businesses

The proposed rules over artificial intelligence (AI) in the European Union (EU) are a harbinger of things to come. Data privacy laws are becoming more complex and growing in number and relevance. So, businesses that seek to become — and stay — compliant must find a solution that can do more than just respond to current challenges. Take a look at upcoming trends when it comes to data privacy regulations and how to follow them. Today's AI Solutions On April…

Tackling Today’s Attacks and Preparing for Tomorrow’s Threats: A Leader in 2022 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for SIEM

Get the latest on IBM Security QRadar SIEM, recognized as a Leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant. As I talk to security leaders across the globe, four main themes teams constantly struggle to keep up with are: The ever-evolving and increasing threat landscape Access to and retaining skilled security analysts Learning and managing increasingly complex IT environments and subsequent security tooling The ability to act on the insights from their security tools including security information and event management software…

4 Ways AI Capabilities Transform Security

Many industries have had to tighten belts in the "new normal". In cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI) can help.   Every day of the new normal we learn how the pandemic sped up digital transformation, as reflected in the new opportunities and new risks. For many, organizational complexity and legacy infrastructure and support processes are the leading barriers to the effectiveness of their security.   Adding to the dynamics, short-handed teams are overwhelmed with too much data from disparate sources and…

What’s New in the 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report

The average cost of a data breach reached an all-time high of $4.35 million this year, according to newly published 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, an increase of 2.6% from a year ago and 12.7% since 2020. New research in this year’s report also reveals for the first time that 83% of organizations in the study have experienced more than one data breach and just 17% said this was their first data breach. And at a time when…