The Digital India program, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, promises to transform India into a digitally empowered society and a connected, knowledge economy. The program envisages the use of information technology to deliver quality education, health and banking services to the farthest corners of the country.

The importance of cybersecurity in achieving this goal cannot be overstated. According to a recent report, cybersecurity incidents in India grew by 117 percent in 2015.

As the volume of incidents increases, Indian companies should implement efficient and robust strategies to respond to cybersecurity threats and limit the cost of a data breach.

A Growing Challenge

IBM and Ponemon Institute recently released the “2016 Cost of Data Breach Study: India,” the annual benchmark study on the cost of data breach incidents for companies based in India.

Below are the key takeaways from the report:

  • The average total cost of a breach was 9.73 crore INR. This represents a 9.5 percent increase over 2015 costs. In comparison, the global average total cost of a data breach increased by 5.4 percent.
  • The size of data breaches increased as well — the average size grew by 8.5 percent in 2016. This is much more than the global average increase of 3.2 percent.
  • The impact of data breaches varied by industry. Certain sectors, such as financial services, had higher data breach costs when compared with industries such as research and the public sector.
  • Forty-one percent of companies experienced a data breach as a result of a malicious or criminal attack, which was the most common root cause of a breach.
  • The cost of a data breach was directly related to the number of records comprised in the attack. The greater the number of records lost, the higher the cost. Data breaches that involved less than 10,000 records had an average cost of 5.96 crore INR, while breaches involving more than 50,000 records had an average cost of 16 crore INR.
  • The longer it takes to detect and contain a data breach, the more costly it becomes to resolve.

As you can see from the statistics, the cost, size and complexity of the data breaches has continued to rise, much more than the global average.

Limiting the Cost of a Data Breach

For Digital India to succeed, it is important that industries and organizations prosper. As more and more Indian organizations implement cloud, mobility and big data technologies to grow their business, it is vital that they tackle the cybersecurity challenge head-on.

Companies should implement incident response capabilities and data security strategies, such as encryption and threat sharing, to reduce the impact and cost of a data breach.

Download the 2016 Ponemon Institute Cost of Data Breach Study: India

More from Data Protection

Cybersecurity 101: What is Attack Surface Management?

There were over 4,100 publicly disclosed data breaches in 2022, exposing about 22 billion records. Criminals can use stolen data for identity theft, financial fraud or to launch ransomware attacks. While these threats loom large on the horizon, attack surface management (ASM) seeks to combat them. ASM is a cybersecurity approach that continuously monitors an organization’s IT infrastructure to identify and remediate potential points of attack. Here’s how it can give your organization an edge. Understanding Attack Surface Management Here…

Six Ways to Secure Your Organization on a Smaller Budget

My LinkedIn feed has been filled with connections announcing they have been laid off and are looking for work. While it seems that no industry has been spared from uncertainty, my feed suggests tech has been hit the hardest. Headlines confirm my anecdotal experience. Many companies must now protect their systems from more sophisticated threats with fewer resources — both human and technical. Cobalt’s 2022 The State of Pentesting Report found that 90% of short-staffed teams are struggling to monitor…

The Importance of Modern-Day Data Security Platforms

Data is the backbone of businesses and companies everywhere. Data can range from intellectual property to critical business plans to personal health information or even money itself. At the end of the day, businesses are looking to grow revenue, innovate, and operationalize but to do that, they must ensure that they leverage their data first because of how important and valuable it is to their organization. No matter the industry, the need to protect sensitive and personal data should be…

Meeting Today’s Complex Data Privacy Challenges

Pop quiz: Who is responsible for compliance and data privacy in an organization? Is it a) the security department, b) the IT department, c) the legal department, d) the compliance group or e) all of the above? If you answered "all of the above," you are well-versed in the complex world of compliance and data privacy! While compliance is a complex topic, the patchwork of regulations imposed by countries, regions, states and industries further compounds it. This complexity has turned…