Cyberthieves are stealing much more than credit card numbers. They're after intellectual property, and once they get it, they're willing to sell it to the highest bidder.

Stolen data translates into a lot of lost business for U.S. corporations: Each data breach results in companies losing about 3.7% of their customers, on average, according to the Ponemon Institute.

But that's not the only cost of a breach. Companies may have to beef up their systems and staff to find and solve the problem, which doesn't come cheap. After the fact, the companies need to let customers know if their information has been compromised, and they have to spend even more to prevent the breach from happening again.

Last updated July 22 2011: 10:59 AM ET
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