Cyberattacks becoming more common and costly: Ponemon

Cyberattacks becoming more common and costly: Ponemon

Organisations face 1.2 attacks per week, amounting to an average cost of $3.2 million per year

The frequency and cost consequence of cybercrime has continued to grow for the third straight year with Australian companies experiencing 40 attacks per week or 1.2 per company per week, according to the Ponemon Institute’s 2012 Cost of Cyber Crime study, sponsored by HP.

The study, which involved interviewing senior level personnel from 33 organisations in various industry sectors in Australia, found that the average annualised cost of cybercrime incurred by these organisations amounted to $3.2 million, with a range of $350,000 to $10.9 million.

The most costly cybercrimes continue to be those caused by denial of services, malicious insiders and web-based attacks. According to the study, these account for more than 60 per cent of annual cybercrime costs per organisation.

The study also found that disruption to business processes and revenue losses represent the highest external cost, accounting for 41 and 54 per cent, respectively.

Additionally, although the average time to resolve a cyberattack is 21 days, this year’s study reveals that it can take over 40 days. The average cost during the 21-day period is $183,479, and of course increases depending on the duration.

“Organisations are spending increasing amounts of time, money and energy responding to cyberattacks at levels that will soon become unsustainable,” HP Asia-Pacific and Japan enterprise security products vice-president, Chris Poulos, said. “There is clear evidence to show that the deployment of advanced security intelligence solutions helps to substantially reduce the cost, frequency and impact of these attacks.”

In fact, the study claims that organisations that deployed security information and event management (SIEM) solutions realised cost savings of nearly $494,000 per year.

“The purpose of this benchmark research is to quantify the economic impact of cyberattacks and observe cost trends over time,” Ponemon chairman and founder, Larry Ponemon, said. “We believe a better understanding of the cost of cybercrime will assist organisations in determining the appropriate amount of investment and resources needed to prevent or mitigate the devastating consequences of an attack.”

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