AI can ‘halve’ £3.4m average cost for UK data breaches

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can cut costs involved for data breach incidents by almost half, according to a new report from technology firm IBM.

The report said UK organisations pay an average of £3.4 million for data breach incidents but that those who use AI and automation spend around £1.6 million less.

While the average cost of a data breach has dropped from £3.8 million in 2022 to £3.4 million in 2023, this still represents a nine per cent increase compared to 2020.

The research found that AI and automation can also reduce the lifecycle of a data breach by 108 days compared to firms that don’t use the technology. However, the figures show that just 28 per cent of UK organisations use AI and automation for security purposes.

“With a 108-day average reduction in the breach lifecycle, security AI and automation may be the driving force needed to help defenders bridge the speed gap with attackers,” said Martin Borrett, technical director IBM Security UK & Ireland. “The slight decline from last year in the overall cost of a data breach in the UK suggests the powerful impact security AI and automation may already be having on early adopters.”

The report added that around 40 per cent of data breaches resulted in the loss of data across multiple environments including public cloud, private cloud and data stored on premises.

In terms of industries, financial services had the highest average data breach costs of £5.3 million followed by the technology sector at £4.9 million.

Around 95 per cent of organisations taking part in the research have experienced more than one breach, yet only 51 per cent plan to increase their security investments.

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