The Cost of Cybercrime

It’s almost daily that we hear about one company after another with a data security breach of some kind. As recently reported by The New York Times, the Korea Credit Bureau is just one of the latest victims—with credit card details stolen from almost half of all South Koreans and sold to marketing firms. Also reported, the original 30 million affected from the Target data theft is now estimated to be between 70 and 110 million people. InformationWeek is calling the recent distributed denial-of-service attack (DDos) on Cloudflare one of the largest DDoS attack ever recorded, eclipsing the Spamhaus attack of last year. And the list goes on and on…

It’s obvious that you can’t protect your network, applications and above all your data 100% of the time. The fact is there is no such thing as 100% security. Having this belief is an illusion and will only lead to frustration, a false sense of security and worse. So what can you do to best protect your network?

First, you must understand the risk of a breach as well as the cost related to the impact of such a breach. To understand your risk level, you need to make an assessment of your system security, but an assessment is only a snapshot of the moment. Hackers are intelligent, inventive individuals who are always looking for new holes in applications, operating systems, etc.

Since we know that 100% security does not exist, we should also understand what the cost of an attack can be on a company. For many companies, image is everything. One security breach can ruin your good name. Remember Diginotar? The Dutch Certificate Authority who got hacked and resulted in fraudulent issuing of certificates. This one breach damaged Diginotar’s image to the point that they became untrusted in the industry—the eventually went bankrupt.

Besides losing the company’s good image, what’s the cost of operational loss due to an attack? According to the Symantec and Ponemon Institute’s “2013 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis” the consolidated average per employee (or headcount) cost for all country samples was $136 compared to a $130 cost per compromised record calculated last year (excluding Brazil). Germany experienced the highest per capita cost of data breach at $199 and India experienced the lowest cost at $42 per compromised record.

Although this value varies between industries, the fact is that an attack will cost your company a lot of money. The awareness of this fact should already be a reason to understand that cost of a security assessment more than outweighs the cost of an attack.

To continue the discussion and learn how Spirent’s security testing solutions can help protect your network, please visit our Avalanche NEXT webpage.

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