Cyber Crime Costs Take Big Jump in 2011: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

A new report suggests that the costs associated with cyber crime continue to rise. According to a study funded by hardware firm Hewlett-Packard, on average cyber attacks are costing companies 56 per cent more money to resolve than the year previous.

The study, which was conducted by the Ponemon Institute, is called the "Second Annual Cost of Cyber Crime." It finds that the median annualized cost of attacks rose to $5.9 million a year, up from $3.8 million last year. (Source:

Big Companies Face 70+ Attacks Each Week

According to the report, 50 organizations participating in the study were hit with over 70 cyber invasions each week (over a 4 week period) -- nearly double the number of attacks over the previous year. Most of these attacks came through DDoS (distributed denial of service), or were related to the use of malicious code or phishing campaigns.

One of the study's most interesting and important findings: in most cases, it took eighteen days and more than $400,000 to repair a system after an attack. Those results are considerably higher than the previous year, when Ponemon found that attacks took about two weeks and $250,000 to resolve.

Cyber Attacks Becoming More Sophisticated

Ponemon Institute founder and chairman Dr. Larry Ponemon believes the results paint a scary future for many major businesses, government agencies and other organizations.

"As the sophistication and frequency of cyber attacks increases, so too will the economic consequences," Ponemon said. "Figuring out how much to invest in security starts with understanding the real cost of cybercrime." (Source:

The organizations participating in the study range in size (700 to 139,000 employees) and in the costs they faced ($1.5 million to $36.5 million) in the wake of an attack.

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