Cost of Cyber Crime Skyrockets

Monday, October 7, 2013 @ 09:10 AM gHale


While the number of people falling victim to cybercrime decreased this year, the cost per victim is up 50 percent, according to a new report.

The global price tag of consumer cybercrime has risen to $113 billion, according to the report from Symantec in its 2013 Norton Report.

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While this survey deals with the consumer side, at the Honeywell User Group this past summer, Darius Adamczyk, president and chief executive at Honeywell Process Solutions, said automation manufacturing industry is losing around $400 billion a year in cyber attacks.

“Cyber attacks are an area where users are under invested,” Adamczyk said during his keynote address. “This is something I worry about every day. There needs to be more awareness. There is $400 billion lost a year due to cyber attacks.”

The idea security is top of mind for Adamczyk truly underscores the dire need for the industry to come to grips with the idea that manufacturing automation users are, for the most part, not prepared when it comes to the potential of facing and fending off a cyber attack.

Norton put the average cost per victim at about $298 — a 50 percent increase over last year. There are approximately 378 million victims per year, or more than 1 million each day and 12 per second. The largest number of victims are in Russia, China, and South Africa, Symantec said.

Cyber criminals are deploying more sophisticated attacks, like ransomware and spear-phishing, which yield more money per attack, said Symantec Chief Technology Officer Stephen Trilling. Not helping the matter is lax security on mobile gadgets.

“With the findings from the Norton Report that 49 percent of consumers use their personal mobile device for both work and play, this creates entirely new security risks for enterprises as cybercriminals have the potential to access even more valuable information,” Trilling said.

Even though almost half of all smartphone users rarely let their device out of sight, they are not actually protecting their data. In fact, 48 percent of smartphone and tablet users don’t take even basic precautions like setting a password, using security software, or backing up files on their mobile device. About 57 percent are not even aware that mobile security solutions exist, according to Norton’s survey of more than 13,000 online adults ages 18 to 64, from 24 countries.

No matter the monetary statistics, gadget owners seem to be much more security conscious on PCs than mobile devices.

“If this was a test, mobile consumers would be failing,” said Marian Merrit, Internet Safety Advocate at Symantec. “While consumers are protecting their computers, there is a general lack of awareness to safeguard their smartphones and tablets. It’s as if they have alarm systems for their homes, but they’re leaving their cars unlocked with the windows wide open.”



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