Average business spends $15 million battling cybercrime

The average U.S. company of 1,000 employees or more spends $15 million a year battling cybercrime, up 20 percent compared to last year

The average U.S. company of 1,000 employees or more spends $15 million a year battling cybercrime, up 20 percent compared to last year, according to a report released today.

Attacks involving malicious code, malware, viruses, worms, trojans and botnets accounted for 40 percent of this cost, followed by 16 percent for denial of services, 14 percent for phishing and social engineering, 12 percent for web-based attacks, 10 percent for malicious insiders and 7 percent for stolen devices.

One of the reasons for the high cost of battling cybercrime is that it takes an average of 46 days to contain a successful attack after it has been detected, said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder at Traverse City, MI-based Ponemon Institute, LLC

"Companies spend $43,000 a day, on average, for containment costs," he said.

The attacks are also happening more frequently, he added, and many are becoming more severe.

There was a wide variation in how much individual companies spent on battling cybercrime, from $1.9 million on the low end all the way up to $65 million a year.

Larger companies tended to spend more in total, though they had lower per-employee costs than smaller companies.

The report also looked at other factors, both organizational and technological, that can affect the cost of defending against a cyberattack.

For example, Ponemon looked at several technologies that lowered defense costs.

"Companies that invested in these technologies did that much better than those who did not," said Eric Schou, director of product marketing for HP Security.

The best-performing technology was security intelligence systems, which, on average, saved companies $3.7 million in cost. That translates to an average return on investment of 32 percent.

Companies that used encryption extensively saved $1.4 million a year, but, because of the lower cost of the technology, saw an average return on investment of 27 percent.

Advanced perimeter controls and firewall technologies saved $2.5 million a year, for a return on investment of 15 percent.

Technologies which had a return on investment of 10 percent or less were IT governance, risk and compliance tools, data loss prevention tools, and automated policy management tools.

The biggest organizational or management factor was having sufficient budget for cybersecurity -- this reduced costs by $2.8 million a year.

Next, employment of expert security personnel saved companies $2.1 million a year, and hiring a CISO or similar high-level security leader saved $2.0 million.

Substantial training and security awareness activities saved companies $1.5 million, and extensive use of security metrics saved $1 million.

Ponemon added that these numbers do not add up in a linear fashion since they can be interdependent.

The results are based on over 2,100 interviews that the Ponemon conducted over the past 11 months. The research was sponsored by HP.

The research covered six other countries besides the U.S. -- the U.K., Japan, Germany, Australia, Brazil, and Russia.

Average global costs of containing a cyberbreach were $7.7 million, or about half that of the U.S. alone.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about AdvancedHP

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Maria Korolov

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts