What is the cost of a data breach? In the case of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Meyer, who accepted the consequences of the 2013/2014 Yahoo data breach in 2016, the answer was at least $2 million, the amount of the annual bonus she lost because of the breach. She also gave up her annual equity grant for 2017, which could have been worth millions more. However, it probably cost Yahoo!, its partners and its users a lot more than that. What happened and what could have been done to prevent these types of breaches? The data breach in question actually refers to two major data breaches, one in 2013 and one in 2014, affecting an estimated 1 billion plus Yahoo! users and resulting in more than 40 class-action lawsuits from Yahoo! customers. Not only did the attackers hack hundreds of millions of user accounts for their information, but they also created bogus cookies in 2015 and 2016 to allow access to more than 30 million accounts without a password. Experts investigating noted that Yahoo! information security had knowledge of the attacks around the time they were happening, but failed to act appropriately. The company’s general counsel, Ron Bell, resigned without severance in the wake of this situation.

Data Breaches and Their Cost to You

Marissa Meyer may be able to afford losing millions in bonuses and equity. Yahoo!, an industry giant with a long history, may be able to weather more than 40 class-action lawsuits. Your company probably can’t. An IBM study has found that the average cost of a data breach is around $4 million, which is a serious hit for almost any company to take. It’s not just about the money — there’s also the matter of your company’s reputation. A company that needs user accounts to function relies on trust. If something happens to shake consumer confidence in your organization, members may withdraw very quickly, and there will be very little you can do to get them back once that culture of fear starts to spread. You need to defend yourself against potential security threats and data breaches now.

High-Level Identity and Access Management Solutions Can Help

Identity and access management solutions help protect your company from unwanted incursions and data breaches. For example, in the case of Yahoo!, if multi-factor authentication (MFA) was available, users could have set up their accounts to be alerted via text when access to their accounts was being requested. Optimal IdM can help better secure identities and authentication using the Authentication-as-a-Service platform (AaaS), called Optimal Authentication Service (OAS), which includes MFA. OAS includes MFA options like Time-based One-Time Password (TOTP) and traditional One-Time Passcodes (OTP) that can be sent via Short Message Service (SMS), Email or voice calls. Fingerprint authentication to iOS and Android can also be done. In a world where hackers are starting to outstrip the cybersecurity professionals who know how to protect you, a cost-effective, customizable, on-premises or cloud-based identity management solution is a necessity. Act now before your customers’ data is compromised. Optimal IdM even offers a free trial to get you started, so you can see the process in action before you commit. To begin your free trial and enable your data protection as soon as possible, contact Optimal IdM now.


  • The database in which all of your organization’s sensitive identity data is stored.
  • A digital ledger in which digital transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly.
  • Securely managing customer identity and profile data, and controlling customer access to applications and services.
  • The means of linking a person's electronic identity and attributes, stored across multiple distinct identity management systems.
  • A legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the EU.
  • The policy-based centralized orchestration of user identity management and access control.
  • An authentication infrastructure that is built, hosted and managed by a third-party service provider.
  • A security system that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user's identity for a login or other transaction.
  • A global provider of innovative and affordable identity access management solutions. 
  • Managing and auditing account and data access by privileged users.
  • Tools and technologies for controlling user access to critical information within an organization.
  • An authentication process that allows a user to access multiple applications with one set of login credentials.

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