Taking these steps will save money, time, and reputation when that next breach hits.

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The volume and velocity of data breaches are on the rise, and so are the costs.

Cybercrime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion in 2021, according to the Cyberwarfare in the C-Suite report from Cybersecurity Ventures. More staggering still is the expectation that global cybercrime costs will continue to grow, at a predicted 15% annually for the next five years, hitting $10.5 trillion by 2025. That’s up from $3 trillion in 2015.

Those costs are spread out among thousands of victims around the globe, yet individual organizations hit by a successful hack will face the potential for significant, compounding losses. A study on long-term data breach costs from consulting firm Infosys reported that 65% of consumers lose trust in a business in the event of a data breach, with 85% of them saying they don’t want to deal with those companies again.

A head-in-the-sand approach contributes to these figures. A 2021 study from ISACA, the IT governance association, found that only 32% of responding organizations felt highly prepared for an attack.

Preparation, however, pays dividends. Experts say that CISOs who take more rigorous steps in advance of an incident are not only better able to defend against and respond to attacks but also minimize associated costs.