Cyberattacks costing businesses millions each year

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Dealing with cyberattacks is becoming increasingly costly for businesses according to new research from Accenture and the Ponemon Institute which have revealed that malware and “malicious insider” related attacks accounted for one-third of all cyberattack costs in 2018.

The firm interviewed over 2,600 security and IT professionals at 355 organizations worldwide to compile its “Cost of Cybercrime Study” that found the cost to businesses due to malware increased by 11 percent to more than $2.6m per company.

At the same time, the cost due to malicious insiders, which Accenture defines as employees, temporary staff, contractors and business partners, jumped by 15 percent to $1.6m per organization.

Together these two attack types accounted for one-third of the total $13m cost to companies from cybercrime in 2018 representing a $1.3m increase in the past year.

Cybercrime costs

Accenture's study calculated cybercrime costs based on what an organization spends to discover, investigate, contain and recover from a cyberattack over a consecutive four week period.

Senior managing director of Accenture Secuirty, Kelly Bissell stressed that cybersecurity needs to be the responsibility of everyone at an organization, saying:

“From people to data to technologies, every aspect of a business invites risk and too often security teams are not closely involved with securing new innovations. This siloed approach is bad for business and can result in poor accountability across the organisation, as well as a sense that security isn’t everyone’s responsibility. Our study makes it clear that it’s time for a more holistic, proactive and preventative approach to cyber risk management involving full business engagement across the entire ecosystem of partners.” 

The study also found that the cost to companies from phishing and social engineering attacks increased to $1.4m per organization.

Companies in the US experienced the greatest increase in costs due to cybercrime in 2018 at 29 percent with an average cost of $27.4m per company. Japan was the second highest at $13.6m followed by Germany at $13.1m and the UK at $11.5m. On the other hand, Brazil and Australia spent the least on cybercrime at $7.2m and $6.8m respectively.

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