At least 60% of brands will discover a breach of sensitive data in 2015, with the actual number of breached entities being as high as 80% or more, according to Forrester’s annual predictions research.

What’s more is that most firms will also botch the responses, and we’ll quickly see million-dollar fines and suits become the norm. Why? Forrester finds that only 21% of global security technology decision-makers report that improving incident response is a critical priority.

But there’s good news. In the battle to win, serve, and retain customers, data security and privacy can be a key competitive differentiator. “Privacy abuses and intentional or accidental breaches of sensitive data undermine the trust relationship between an enterprise and its customers,” writes Analyst Heidi Shey. “If your customers don’t trust a brand to rigorously protect and genuinely respect their sensitive data, they’ll take their business elsewhere.”

Other predictions include:

  • Retail security budgets will increase by double digits.
  • $100 million cyberinsurance policies will become the norm.
  • A wearables health data breach will spur FTC action.
  • State-sponsored medical reports theft will rise.
  • Cloud security monitoring will improve, but privacy remains at risk.

Learn more about the research here.