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Vol. 6 No. 4 June 2007

Counting the cost of data theft

Storage managers do their best to protect stored data, but disaster can always strike, which is why a good disaster recovery budget should factor in the cost of data loss. Yet calculating that amount can be a hit-or-miss effort. Darwin Professional Underwriters, a Farmington, CT-based specialty insurance group, is offering an online calculator to help organizations assess their financial risk from data theft. The tool, called Tech//404 (, uses a proprietary formula based on publicly available information to calculate the average expense of a data breach. For example, if a user loses 10,000 records and inputs that number, the calculator produces the resulting cost of internal investigations, crisis management and regulatory expense. The site doesn't offer a way to figure out the substantial cost of potential civil lawsuits. But having some ballpark figures could be handy if your best-laid storage security plans ever go awry. --Trina MacDonald

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