Cyber Report: Crime Costs Climb

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 @ 05:08 PM gHale

Expenses to deal with cyber crime are on the rise from last year, a new study found.

The median cost of cyber crime to the 50 organizations surveyed was $5.9 million per year, based on a range of $1.5 million to $36.5 million per year, according to the study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and funded by Hewlett-Packard.

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That figure is up 56 percent from the $3.8 million median found in last year’s study, which ranged from $1 million to $53 million per year.

That large median dollar amount for dealing with threats includes detection and investigation, as well as follow-through actions such as containment and recovery.

In terms of dealing with threats, the study found the average time to address one is 18 days, resulting in an average price tag of $416,000. That’s up from an average 14-day period and $250,000 per attack last year.

Also up were the number of successful attacks; 72 were counted during the four-week test, marking a 45 percent bump from last year’s study.

“Instances of cyber crime have continued to increase in both frequency and sophistication, with the potential impact to an organization’s financial health becoming more substantial,” Tom Reilly, vice president and general manager of enterprise security at HP, said in a statement. “Organizations in the most targeted industries are reducing the impact by leveraging security and risk management technologies, which is grounds for optimism in what continues to be a fierce fight against cyber crime.”

In this year’s study, the Ponemon Institute said the most expensive and common cyber crimes were malicious code, denial-of-service attacks, “malicious insiders,” and devices compromised through theft or hijacking.

Cyber criminals laid their sights on large organizations this year, including high-profile hacks against tech companies such as Sony, Nintendo, and Sony Ericcson, alongside the Web properties of Fox, and PBS, and various government agencies.

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