Cyber attacks generally refer to criminal activity conducted via the Internet. These attacks can include stealing an organization’s intellectual property, confiscating online bank accounts, creating and distributing viruses on other computers, posting confidential business information on the Internet and disrupting a country’s critical national infrastructure. Consistent with the previous two studies, the loss or misuse of information is the most significant consequence of a cyber attack. Based on these findings, organizations need to be more vigilant in protecting their most sensitive and confidential information.
Key takeaways from this research include:
- Cyber crimes continue to be costly. We found that the average annualized cost of cyber crime for 56 organizations in our study is $8.9 million per year, with a range of $1.4 million to $46 million. In 2011, the average annualized cost was $8.4 million. This represents an increase in cost of 6 percent or $500,000 from the results of our cyber cost study published last year.1
- Cyber attacks have become common occurrences. The companies in our study experienced 102 successful attacks per week and 1.8 successful attacks per company per week. This represents an increase of 44 percent from last year’s successful attack experience. Last year’s study reported 72 successful attacks on average per week.
- The most costly cyber crimes are those caused by denial of service, malicious insiders and web-based attacks. Mitigation of such attacks requires enabling technologies such as SIEM, intrusion prevention systems, application security testing and enterprise governance, risk management and compliance (GRC) solutions.