Study: Average cost of cybercrime rises again in 2015 to $7.7 million

The Ponemon Institute and Hewlett Packard Enterprise released their annual cost of cybercrime study, the result sof which indicted that companies spent more this year to combat digital threats.
The Ponemon Institute and Hewlett Packard Enterprise released their annual cost of cybercrime study, the result sof which indicted that companies spent more this year to combat digital threats.

The cost of cybercrime rose yet again this year with the average global annualized cost coming out to $7.7 million, a new report from the Ponemon Institute and Hewlett Packard Enterprise indicates.

In the U.S., the cost of cybercrime averaged out to $15 million. Last year, the average annual cost in the U.S. was $12.7 million. Out of the seven surveyed countries, the U.S. was the one with the highest cybercrime cost; Germany was second highest, and Japan was the third.

The results stem from research and data provided by 252 countries and 2,128 interviews with company personnel. The actual cost was calculated by taking into account both the direct and indirect expenses incurred by an organization. So, for instance, a direct expense can include working with forensic experts and outsourcing hotline support. Indirect costs come from the “amount of time, effort and other organizational resources spent, but not as a direct cash outlay,” the study states.

The cost continues to go up year over year, even with cybersecurity becoming a commonly discussed topic around the U.S., especially in the wake of major retailer, healthcare and government data breaches.

Eric Schou, director of product marketing at HP Enterprise Security Products, said in an interview with SCMagazine.com that while it might seem that we've hit a saturation point, in reality, the attack surface is growing along with news of data breaches.

Plus, the attackers are getting more sophisticated, as well.

“The attack surface is changing and getting larger,” he said. “BYOD, cloud, mobility, the Internet of Things (IoT), just means that the big data is bigger. It's giving adversaries more place to hide, which makes things a lot harder.”

In fact, on average in the U.S., it took 46 days to resolve a cyberattack.

While “the good guys” focus on building defenses and getting ahead of attacks, Schou noted that the adversaries are collaborating with one another. Right now, they're doing a better job of it, too.

But with that in mind, he added that industries are getting better about collaboration and information sharing.

“People know the only way you'll get into the preemptive posture is to have a signature at the front door,” he said. “Sharing of intelligence might have been something pooh-poohed in the beginning, but now it's becoming much more of a reality.”

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