Cybercrime up but losses down – go figure

Average cybercrime loses have halved since last year, according to the 10th annual Computer Crime and Security Survey.

The survey, conducted by the Computer Security Institute (CSI) and the FBI showed the average dollar loss down to $204,000 per respondent to the survey, compared to $526,000 last year.

But experts suggest the figures, taken from a survey of 700 U.S. security professionals, do not mean cybercrime is going away, instead its profile is changing.

"Individual users are more exposed to computer crime than ever, due to the growth in identity theft schemes," said Chris Keating, director at the CSI. "With the press and the public paying more and more attention as identity theft becomes a vital societal issue, 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."

Virus attacks created the biggest headache over the last twelve months accounting 32 percent of overall losses.

Unauthorized access is on the rise, now the second biggest threat, as is theft of "proprietary information."

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