Feeds

Lax security costs business 6% of revenues?

Cracker cost estimate beggars belief

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

An economist has completed a study which suggests that computer crackers cost businesses nearly six per cent of revenues.

Technology economist Frank Bernhard of the University of California studied 3,000 US businesses and concluded that lax security cost them around 5.7 per cent of annual revenue. The study was reported by NewsFactor Network, an online news service, and linked to by securityportal.com.

Apart from these bald statistics there's little or no information on the methodology of the study and certainly no analysis of what it all means.

Security is an important issue, particularly as more companies engage in ecommerce, but spreading fear through overblown estimates of the potential risk is unhelpful.

In fact it probably makes matters worse by encouraging a feeling of hopelessness in the face of the problem, thereby playing into the hands of crackers.

Last year, PricewaterhouseCoopers came up with the conclusion that cracking and computer viruses - ranging from Melissa to the Love Bug - would cost global businesses around $1600 billion in 2000, mainly as a result of lost productivity.

We always thought these figures were high but now the University of California has topped even PwC's gloomy figure. We're sure this did little harm in attracting interest to its security practice business.

Is it too much to hope people will return back to ground and make realistic assessments of security risks, based on sound methodologies, and backed up by concrete ideas about how matters might be improved?

Let's get real. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.