08 Oct 2012

Close to $9 Million Average Cleanup Costs for US Organizations Targeted in Cyber Attacks


Corporate and government organizations’ costs incurred due to cyber attacks rose 6 percent this year compared to last year, with an average cleanup bill amounting to $8.9 million for 2012, according to a Ponemone Institute study, reports cio.com.

The study covers 56 organizations in the U.S, UK, Germany, Australia and Japan, and it appears to indicate that the cyber attack-related expenses are significantly lower outside the US.

"We found that U.S. companies were much more likely to experience the most expensive types of cyber attacks, which are malicious insiders, malicious code and web-based incidents," reads the report.

German organizations took $5.9 million out of their pockets to remedy cyber attack damage, on the average, whereas in Japan the study found a $5.1 million mean remedy cost. However, the small size is insufficient for the US-rest of the world differences to be accounted for, according to institute founder Larry Ponemon.

Highlights of the study include the UK’s and Australia’s high frequency of denial-of-service attacks as compared to Germany’s very low exposure in this respect. Japanese companies appear to rank first in point of immunity to malicious insiders and to web-based attacks.

The study points to overall variations in mitigation costs from as low as $1.4 million to up to $46 million, and it distinguishes between internal and external cost factors. External factors, for instance, include business disruption, information loss or theft, revenue loss, equipment damages etc. It is important to note that 44% of all external costs are put down to information theft.