The survey of IT and marketing directors within UK companies of more than 200 employees also highlighted the effect loss of email and other IT systems can have.
"The average predicted loss was £68,000 ($125,000) and that includes repair costs, training, new solutions and brand loss," said David Stanley, VP EMEA at Ciphertrust which commissioned the survey. "What was interesting is that the IT professionals only thought it would cost the company around £40,000 ($73,500)."
Stanley said the findings highlight both a growing reliance on email and a need for information security professionals to be more centrally involved in the business.
"They've got to work in conjunction with business. When you add it up it's a lot of money lost over the year," said Stanley. "Hopefully, this sort of research will help them get more purchasing power."
Using Department for Trade and Industry figures of 8,000 UK companies and an average of four such failures, Ciphertrust estimates UK business loses £1 billion ($1.8 billion) every year.
In February SC reported dictionary attacks, in which thousands of emails with similar names are sent to the same address, was causing hell for system managers.