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October 9, 2012

Cybercrime costs rise nearly 40% for businesses: report

Research reveals that the costs and frequency of attacks has risen for the third straight year.

By Tineka Smith

According to an HP study, the financial impact of cybercrime has increased to nearly 40% for companies with the occurrence of attacks more than doubling over the past three years.

The research found that an average cost of cybercrime from a sample of U.S. organisations was $8.9m, up 38% since 2010.

The study also revealed that organisations were experiencing an average of 102 successful attacks per week, compared with 50 attacks per week in 2010.

"Organizations are spending increasing amounts of time, money and energy responding to cyber attacks at levels that will soon become unsustainable," said Michael Callahan,VP of Enterprise Security Products at HP. "There is clear evidence to show that the deployment of advanced security intelligence solutions helps to substantially reduce the cost, frequency and impact of these attacks."

Cybercrimes that were most costly were companies were attacks that used malicious code, denial of service and stolen or hijacked devices.


In the UK the average cybercrime costs for an organisation is £2.1m per year which can reach as high as £7.7m for some companies.

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Different industries were found to experience varying degrees of cybercrime in the UK. Utilities and energy, financial services and defence were found to experience higher costs than organisations in education, retail and hospitality.

The study revealed that companies surveyed in the UK experienced an average of 41 successful attacks per week.

The most costly cyber crimes for UK companies were found to be caused by denial of service, malicious insider and malicious code. These types of cyber attacks were found to account for more than 44% of all cyber crime costs per organisation on a yearly basis.

HP’s study revealed a positive link between the time to contain an attack and the cost. The average time to contain attack in the UK was found to be 24 days with the average cost being £135,744 during that period.

However, malicious insider attacks can costs even more as it can take over 50 days on average to contain.

The study says that costs of cybercrime can be mitigated by using security intelligence systems.

"We believe a better understanding of the cost of cybercrime will assist organizations in determining the appropriate amount of investment and resources needed to prevent or mitigate the devastating consequences of an attack," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute.

The research suggests that companies using these technologies were more efficient in detecting and containing security breaches and saved an average of £4m when compared to companies not using security intelligence technologies.

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.


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