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Cyber Threat!: How to Manage the Growing Risk of Cyber Attacks by MacDonnell Ulsch

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Chapter 4What Is the True Cost of a Cyber Attack?

Cyber attacks have become common occurrences. The companies in our study experienced 343 successful attacks per week and 1.4 successful attacks per company per week. We found that the average annualized cost of cyber crime for 234 organizations in our study is $7.2 million per year, with a range of $375,387 to $58 million. This represents an increase in cost of 30 percent from the consolidated global results of last year's cyber cost study.

Dr. Larry Ponemon of the Ponemon Institute

Here's a frightening thought. It's an observation, actually, one from the U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive. The U.S. workforce will experience a cultural shift that places greater value on access to information and less emphasis on privacy and data protection. At the same time, deepening globalization of economic activities will make national boundaries less of a deterrent to economic espionage than ever. The office further observes that political or social activists may use the tools of economic espionage against U.S. companies, agencies, or other entities, with disgruntled insiders leaking information about corporate trade secrets or critical U.S. technology to “hacktivist” groups like WikiLeaks.

It is an observation that's hard to argue with.

There is greater access to data, that's for sure. Not only is there more data today than ever before, but companies are keeping more of it (Big Data) and there are more places where ...

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