Does Remote Working Effect The Cost of a Data Breach?

by Robert Best on November 25, 2020
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Does Remote Working Effect The Cost of a Data Breach

Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis and the move by many to remote working, experts have warned about the effect it would have on cybersecurity. Would it diminish the ability of a business to detect and contain security incidents?

Now, of course, most businesses didn't have a choice. Government guidelines across the UK instructed us to work from home where possible. Most businesses followed the advice and started to work from home but what impact did that have on their cybersecurity?

The cost of a data breach in 2020

Each year IBM release a 'cost of a data breach' report. The 2020 edition showed when the majority of employees work from home, the cost of a data breaches increased by £104,000.

In a year that has been tough on UK businesses that is a significant amount of money. While it makes up only a small percentage of the overall cost of a data breach, which is £3.9 million on average in the UK, that number is inflated by large and enterprise-sized businesses.

The report also showed the average cost was of a data breach per compromised record was £115. That figure would give you an idea of how much a data breach could cost your business, depending on the type of data and the number of records you store. You can also read our article on how to work out the real cost of a data breach to your business.

How remote working affects the cost of a data breach

The report by IBM confirms what many experts thought already, a remote workforce would increase the cost of a data breach.

There are a couple of reasons this might be the case. Firstly, without employees on your premises, it’s much harder to spot when something goes wrong.

Experts also expected that incidents would prevent remote employees from accessing work documents or communicating with colleagues. Those disruptions would affect their productivity or force them to stop working altogether.

Alongside that point, there is a correlation between the time it takes to respond to a breach and its cost. The IBM report found the average time it takes to identify an incident is 280 days. However, companies that can identify and contain a data breach in less than 200 days save £770,000.

The loss to a business isn't restricted to the time before a breach is discovered. The report found that 39 per cent of the costs from a data breach come more than a year after the incident occurred.

Finding the data breach will help stop the damage getting worse but the damage caused by a data breach will linger as the ongoing issues are addressed. That could be the loss of customers, regulatory penalties or making up for lost productivity.

How to reduce the cost of a data breach

IBM found that businesses coped best with data breaches when they implemented automated tools to detect data breaches and suspicious behaviour. Using artificial intelligence and analytics could save as much as £2.68 million in data breach costs.

Businesses that adopted incident response plans and appointed teams to manage them saved an average of £1.54 million in data breach costs.

Your ability to detect IT security incidents and respond to them promptly could be the difference between a minor disruption and a catastrophe.

However, for many businesses, creating and managing an incident response plan can be a daunting task. You can outsource both of those to an IT support provider for a fraction of the £1.54 million you'll save in potential data breach costs.


The change to remote working has been a new experience for many businesses. Maintaining the right level of security for your data is one of the biggest challenges you face. Instead of running the risk of an expensive data breach, you can outsource the whole thing to Infotech.

To find out how we can help with storing your data securely contact us here, email or call us on 01634 52 52 52.

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