Feeds

Cost of US cyber attacks plummets

But watch out for ID thieves

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
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?
'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
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
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 cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.