Cyber crimes more common and more costly, study finds

Aug 03, 2011 By Salvador Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times

Cyber crimes are not only increasing, but they are also costing companies more money, a recent study has found.

The median cost of cyber crimes rose to $5.9 million, up from $3.8 million in 2010, while the number of attacks rose by 44 percent, with at least one large U.S. company a week falling victim, according to a study released Tuesday by the Ponemon Institute, a research group that studies Internet security. Costs to targeted businesses include spending on security experts and investigations, loss of productivity, system software upgrades and the value of stolen intellectual property.

"The fact that costs have increased so substantially suggests that issues are getting worse," said Larry Ponemon, chairman of the institute, which looked at 50 large companies in the U.S.

The study found the most expensive cyber crimes to be denial of service, Web-based attacks, malicious code and malicious insiders. The study found attacks are taking longer to resolve on average, 18 days, up from 14 last year, and are costing more as well, more than $415,000 per attack, up from more than $247,000 in 2010.

"The bad guys are getting stealthier, and their attacks are getting harder to detect," Ponemon said.

"We believe a better understanding of the cost of cyber crime will assist organizations in determining the appropriate amount of investment and resources needed to prevent or mitigate the devastating consequences of an attack," the study said.

Cyber attacks have been occurring at a record pace in 2011 with the likes of the FBI, the CIA, NATO, News Corp. and Citigroup Inc. among their victims. The study found three companies that spent more than $29 million to resolve , and a large attack on Sony this year is expected to cost the company more than $170 million. Last month, the institute reported that cyber crimes in the first half of this year cost U.S. companies nearly as much as they did in all of 2010.

Explore further: Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NATO plans force to respond to cyber attacks

Jun 08, 2011

NATO wants to beef up its cyber defence capabilities with the creation of a special task force to detect and respond to Internet attacks, an alliance expert said Wednesday at a conference on cyber security ...

Cyber raids 'threaten British, US stock markets'

Jan 31, 2011

Stock exchanges in Britain and the United States have enlisted the help of the security services after finding out they were the victims of cyber attacks, The Times newspaper reported on Monday.

NATO tackles cyber security at Tallinn meet

Jun 07, 2011

Three hundred global cyber experts gathered in Tallinn Tuesday for a NATO Cyber Conflict conference focused on the legal and political aspects of national and global Internet security amid a rise in attacks.

US Senate panel to weigh cybercrime costs

Mar 22, 2011

A key US Senate panel announced Tuesday it will hold a March 29 hearing on the economic costs of cyberattacks and cyber crimes like identity theft and hacker strikes on government computers.

Recommended for you

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

UN General Assembly OKs digital privacy resolution

Dec 18, 2014

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution demanding better digital privacy protections for people around the world, another response to Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. government spying.

Online privacy to remain thorny issue: survey

Dec 18, 2014

Online privacy will remain a thorny issue over the next decade, without a widely accepted system that balances user rights and personal data collection, a survey of experts showed Thursday.

Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Dec 16, 2014

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.