Feeds

Computer intrusion losses waning

Once more unto the breach

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Computer intrusions are on the decline for the third year in a row, at least among respondents to an annual survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute (CSI) and the FBI's computer crime squad.

Nearly 500 computer security professionals in US corporations, government agencies, financial institutions, medical institutions and universities responded to the 2004 survey, with 53 per cent reporting that their organization experienced unauthorized use of computer systems during the prior 12 months - down from 56 per cent in 2003. Thirty-five per cent believed they had not been breached, and 11 per cent said they didn't know.

Overall financial losses totaled out to $141m for the 269 respondents willing to quantify their losses, down significantly from 251 respondents reporting $202m in losses in 2003.

Reported losses to intellectual property theft plummeted to $11m in 2004, putting denial of service attacks in the number one spot as the most expensive computer crime, allegedly causing $26m of the total losses. Twenty-eight per cent of the respondents said their organization had insurance policies to help manage cybersecurity risks.

Despite federal government efforts to encourage information sharing between industry and the Department of Homeland Security, the survey "detected no increase in the disposition to share information about security intrusions," according to the report. The percentage of companies suffering intrusions who reported them to law enforcement dropped from 30 per cent to 20 per cent; the most common reason for keeping an intrusion quiet was fear of negative publicity, a factor for 51 per cent of the companies that failed to report a breach.

While comparisons with previous years may be enlightening, the CSI/FBI survey is decidedly unscientific: the sample pool is self-selected from a panel of computer security professionals. CSI director Chris Keating cautioned against drawing overly optimistic conclusions from the downward trends reported in the study.

"Obviously, computer crime remains a serious problem and some kinds of attacks can cause ruinous financial damage," Keating said in a statement. "We don't believe that all organizations maintain the same defenses as our members - financial damages for less protected organizations are almost certainly worse."

Copyright © 2004, SecurityFocus logo

Related stories

Security cert body gives lesson in insecurity
US.biz practicing Homeland inSecurity
Hackers cost UK.biz billions
Human error blamed for most security breaches
The farce of federal cybersecurity

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.