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Cybercrime rising on every front: new survey

Peter Krass's picture

by Peter Krass on 03/07/2019
Blog Category: cloud-and-data-centers

How much do your customers need help with their cybersecurity? A whole lot, finds a new survey.

The survey, conducted by Ponemon Institute for Accenture, finds that all forms of cybercrime last year cost the average organization $13 million, up 10% from the previous year.

But among organizations based in the United States, the total cost per organization was a much higher average of $27.4 million. That marked a year-on-year increase of nearly 30%.

To get its findings, Ponemon surveyed more than 2,600 security and IT professionals working at 355 organizations in 11 countries, including the United States, the U.K. and Canada. The survey report was released earlier this week.

High threats, high costs

One reason for the high cost is malware. It rose last year, costing the average organization $2.6 million.

Malicious insiders got more active last year, too, the survey finds. These employees, temps, contractors and business partners cost organizations an average of $1.6 million, a year-on-year increase of 15%.

Together, these two types of attacks — malware and malicious insiders — accounted for one-third of all cybercrime costs last year, the survey finds.

Phishing and social-engineering costs rose, too, hitting an average of $1.4 million per organization. What’s more, a very large majority (85%) of companies experienced these types of attacks last year.

The frequency of cyberattacks is mind-blowing. The survey finds that the average company recorded 145 cyberattacks last year. That means an attack, on average, almost every other day! The average number of attacks rose 11% over 2017, and rose a much worse 67% from 5 years earlier.

Also rising: the number of organizations hit by ransomware attacks increased 15% over the previous year, and the number of individual attacks tripled over the past two years. What’s more, the cost of those ransomware attacks rose more than 20%, hitting an average of $650K per company.

More help needed

What are organizations doing to fight all this rising cybercrime? Not enough, Ponemon finds.

Automation, orchestration and machine learning are 3 new and effective deterrents, yet they’re little-used. Only about a quarter (28%) of organizations use these technologies, even though these approaches provide average annual cost savings of $2.9 million per organization.

Larry Ponemon, founder and chairman of Ponemon Institute, says the 2 best ways to protect your clients are increasing awareness of insider threats and adopting breakthrough security technologies.

Now you know why your customers need cyber help. And now you know how to help them, too.


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