Feeds

Cost of US cyber attacks plummets

But watch out for ID thieves

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The cost of individual cyber attacks fell dramatically in the US last year but unauthorised access and the theft of proprietary information remain top security concerns.

The 10th annual Computer Crime and Security Survey, put together by the Computer Security Institute (CSI) in conjunction with information security experts at the FBI, shows financial losses resulting from security breaches down for the fourth successive year. The cost of breaches averaged $204,000 per respondent - down 61 per cent from last year's average loss of $526,000.

Virus attacks continue as the source of the greatest financial pain, making up 32 per cent of the overall losses reported. But unauthorized access showed a dramatic increase and replaced denial of service as the second most significant contributor to cybercrime losses. Unauthorised access was fingered for a quarter (24 per cent) of losses reported in the CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey 2005. Meanwhile losses from theft of proprietary information doubled last year, based on the survey of 700 computer security practitioners in various US corporations, universities and government agencies.

The study found fears about negative publicity are preventing organisation from reporting cybercrime incidents to the police, a perennial problem the CSI/FBI study reckons is only getting worse. Assuming that this isn't true of what respondents also told CSI's researchers (academics from the University of Maryland), the study presents a picture of reducing cyber crime losses that contrasts sharply with vendor-sponsored studies.

Chris Keating, CSI Director, said its study suggests that organizations that raise their level of security awareness but warns against complacency in the face of a changing cybercrime threat.

"Individual users are more exposed to computer crime than ever, due to the growth in identity theft schemes. We can't help but note the shift in the survey results toward more financial damage due to theft of sensitive company data. This is an ominous, though not unexpected, development and underscores the need to insist that enterprise networks be properly safeguarded," he said.

The CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey aims to help determine the scope of computer crime along with promoting security awareness. It can be downloaded from the CSI's website GoCSI.com (PDF - registration required). ®

Related stories

GAO gives US.gov D- for security
FBI publishes computer crime and security stats
Computer intrusion losses waning
The growing problem of identity theft

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.