Legal Blackbook

High-profile breaches at Target and Home Depot, in which hackers gained access to networks through the companies’ service providers, caught the public’s attention. In response, regulators issued new cybersecurity guidance or began to enforce existing regulations against companies to improve their information security and privacy governance. The regulatory pressure has helped somewhat. The Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study reports that the amount of time from breach to discovery decreased from 201 days in 2016 to 191 days last year, and that the average time to contain the breach declined by four days. Furthermore, the appointment of a chief privacy officer and the use of security analytics saved companies $3 and $7, respectively, per compromised record compared to 2016. Nevertheless, data breaches are ubiquitous. In 2017, 1,579 data breaches were reported, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, a 45 percent increase over 2016. The average cost to U.S. companies was $7.5 million, a 5 percent increase. 

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