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Accenture: Cyber crime costs $11.7m per business

Sep 28
Tags: Accenture
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Accenture: Cyber crime costs $11.7m per business

Recent growth in the frequency and severity of cyber attacks has driven the average cost of cyber crime across the globe to $11.7 million (£8.73 million) per business, per year, according to research by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute.

That figure marks an increase of 23 per cent from last year's typical losses of $9.5 million, and is up by 62 per cent in the last five years.

Financial services and energy the worst hit

Based on a survey of 2,182 security and IT professionals from 254 organisations worldwide, the research emphasised the growing importance of businesses taking action to protect themselves against cyber attacks, particularly in the financial services and energy sectors.

These are the worst-hit industries, with financial services firms now typically losing $18.28 million a year to cyber crime and energy companies facing an annual cost of $17.2 million.

The average organisation now suffers 130 breaches per year, 27 per cent more than last year, the findings showed.

Another concerning trend is an increase in the time required to resolve issues. Incidents involving malicious insiders were found to be the most time-consuming, requiring 50 days on average to mitigate.

Companies are spending the most on protecting themselves against malware ($2.4 million) and web-based attacks ($2 million).

Regional findings showed that organisations in the US have incurred the highest total average cyber crime cost of $21.22 million this year. Germany has experienced the biggest increase in costs, from $7.84 million last year to $11.15 million in 2017.

Kelly Bissell, managing director of Accenture Security, said: "The costly and devastating consequences businesses are suffering as a result of cyber crime highlight the growing importance of strategically planning and closely monitoring security investments.

"Keeping pace with these more sophisticated and highly motivated attacks demands that organisations adopt a dynamic, nimble security strategy that builds resilience from the inside out - versus only focusing on the perimeter - with an industry-specific approach that protects the entire value chain, end-to-end."

Mr Bissell stressed that making the right investments in innovation can "help make a significant difference" in the fight against cyber crime.

Should firms be investing more wisely?

The Accenture and Ponemon Institute study highlighted an imbalance in security technology investment.

Nine security technologies were evaluated and the highest percentage spend was on advanced perimeter controls. However, businesses investing in these solutions only saw average operational cost savings of $1 million associated with identifying and addressing cyber attacks.

Security intelligence systems - which acquire data from various sources to help companies identify internal and external threats - were found to offer the highest cost savings of $2.8 million.

It was also found that automation, orchestration and machine learning technologies offered the third-highest typical cost savings of $2.2 million.

However, these systems have been deployed by only 28 per cent of organisations, suggesting that some businesses may be missing out on the benefits of some of the most cutting-edge innovations.

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Image: Matej Moderc/iStock

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