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Network downtime costs planet $1.6 trillion

...Or so lunatic PwC survey claims

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Naughty hackers and computer viruses cost the global economy $1.6 trillion in the last year, according to a shock-horror survey from PriceWaterhouse Coopers.

That is $4.4 billion per day, $182 million per hour or $51,000 per second.

John DiStefano, the man in charge of the research, bases the calculation on the amount of unplanned downtime experienced by the biggest US firms, and upon an estimate of the lost money in sales. This figure was extrapolated to other countries.

This has got to be questionable methodology. Surely most of the really tempting targets for hackers/crackers and virus composers are Stateside?

DiStefano defends his position, saying that the global companies were a comparable group, and that it was not just a straightforward scaling up.

Bring on the Actuaries

By this calculation, firms in the US with more than 1000 employees lost $266 billion over the past year.

That means each large business lost $5 million on the negative consequences of script kiddies' imaginations.

The PwC report also states that firms turning over the really big bucks spend at least $500,000 on security, but less than half the companies surveyed spend more than $50,000 a year safeguarding against cyber-terrorists.

Sympathy may be too much to ask for companies that are not shelling out big bucks to protect their networks. But if half a million dollars isn't enough, then how much do companies need to spend? Perhaps they are all talking to the wrong people.

DiStefano was reluctant to venture an opinion, saying: "It is an interesting question, but not an area covered by this report."

Disclaimer: We know the term is "Cracker", not "Hacker". Really. We're quoting PwC, OK? ®

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