Telecommunications provider TalkTalk has revealed it expects the overall costs of its much-publicised recent data breach will be as much as £35 million.
As many as four million of the company's users were initially feared to have had personal details stolen in the hacking incident, although further investigation later revised this downwards to 157,000.
However, much reputational damage had already been done by then, with the company reporting a significant uptick in cancellations in the immediate aftermath of the firm going public with the problem.
"We obviously saw an immediate bounce in customers wishing to cancel their direct debits and to churn, but we saw those leading indicators come back down quite quickly," chief executive Dido Harding revealed.
She also noted that one-off costs related to the breach included the initial response to the incident, incremental calls into the firm's call centres, additional IT and technology costs, and lost revenue as a result of TalkTalk's online sales sites being down for almost three weeks.
Given the downsizing of the estimated scale of the attack, some have questioned whether TalkTalk was right to have announced the hack before its full extent was known. In the wake of the announcement, the incident was front-page news throughout the UK, and Ms Harding conducted several media interviews to try to get the firm's message out. However, she stated she has no regrets about this approach.
"When businesses do what's right for customers throughout they actually emerge much stronger as a result," she said, adding: "The early signs are encouraging that we are doing the right thing."
Among the steps TalkTalk has taken in the wake of the attack was an offer of a free upgrade - such as providing the company's TV customers with access to premium channels like sports.
However, while customers who can prove they have suffered a financial loss as a result of the hack will be able to leave their contracts without penalty, other users who may simply be worried about the security of their data will still face cancellation fees.