Test Your Data Breach IQ!

2017 Data Breach IQ Quiz 

Personal information is now more valuable than ever. In 2016, there were a total of 1,096 data breaches that affected companies across a variety of industries. Retailers, businesses, government agencies, media companies, non-profits and more had information compromised by unintended exposure or data theft. 

Criminals use the exposed information to commit identity crimes like fraud and identity theft. Understanding how data breaches work and how they impact us daily can help you secure your information more efficiently should your information ever be at risk.


Take this quiz to see how much you know about data breaches!

True/False: Companies take an average of 55 days to detect a data breach, and 206 days to contain it.


Companies take an average of 206 days to detect a data breach, and 55 days to contain it.

On average, how much does a single data breach cost breached organizations?


In 2017, Ponemon Institute found that data breaches cost organizations more than $7 million per incident. A significant increase from $7.01 million the previous year.

In a data breach event, the average cost of each stolen record is _____ per record.


Ponemon Institute found that each stolen record costs organizations an average of $225 per record. This number was calculated to include both direct costs (i.e. damages resulting from data breach itself) and indirect costs (i.e. losing customers because of the breach).

More than half (52%) of data breaches are caused by...


More than half of data breaches occur through hacking or other criminal activity. Organizations can be breached when criminals hack into a company to steal sensitive files and customer information or install harmful software on the company's network. The goal? Identity thieves hope to steal as much information as they can without being detected. Once the information is obtained, criminals can use this information to commit a number of identity crimes.

In a data breach event, an average of ______ records are compromised per incident.


The number of exposed records per breach event was nearly 30,000 in 2016! On average, data breaches exposed anywhere from 5,563 to 99,500 records per incident last year.

_____% of data breaches are caused by employee error.


Ponemon Institute found that 24 percent of data breaches are caused by employee error. Sometimes, errors made inside the workplace can cause unintended exposure of sensitive personal or business information. If, for example, a virus is mistakenly downloaded onto a company computer or an employee sends sensitive files to the wrong email address, these could both potentially lead to a data breach event.

What's the one thing you should NOT do if your information is compromised in a data breach?


Phishing emails are especially common after a data breach. Criminals use them in hopes you'll divulge more personal information they were unable to obtain from the breach event.

See if you can spot a phishing email by taking our Phishing Email IQ Quiz!

Which industry has the highest cost per breached record? (Each leaked file costs $380!)


Even though the overall average is $225 per record, the health sector has the highest per capita cost across 16 industries. In second place, data breaches in the financial sector cost organizations around $336 per compromised record.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

Laura, former VP of Marketing at EZShield, now a Sontiq brand, is a marketing professional with over 20 years of experience leading marketing and...
Read more about Laura Bruck.

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