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Targeted cyber attacks cost companies up to $2.4 million in damages

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Kaspersky survey reveals the most common threats that global businesses face.

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November 5, 2013 5:49 by



Targeted cyber attacks against SMEs and large companies around the world can result in substantial financial damage, making them one of the most dangerous types of cyber threats, according to Kaspersky’s 2013 Corporate IT Security Risks Survey.

The annual study, conducted by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab, reveals that a successful targeted cyber attack against a large company can cause damages of up to $2.4 million, as professional cyber criminals are typically more involved in their preparation and launch. It notes that the motives behind these attacks are typically to obtain valuable and confidential information from specific companies, adding that the leakage of such data could lead to significant losses. From the $2.4m that is lost on average, approximately $2.17m stems directly from the incident itself, in the form of losses due to critical data leakages, business interruptions and hiring IT security professionals or, in some cases, lawyers.

Company losses resulting from targeted attacks on SMEs are noticeably lower, at approximately $92,000 per incident, according to the report. However, considering the size of these companies (with an average of 100 to 200 employees), the effects are still very significant.

While targeted cyber attacks are dangerous, they are not the most common threat that companies around the world face, according to the feedback from the survey’s respondents. Only nine per cent say that their companies have suffered a targeted attack in the past 12 months. A far higher percentage of companies (24 per cent) reported that their network infrastructures had been hacked.

Intentional leaks of corporate data were suffered by 19 per cent of companies and the resulting financial losses came to an average of $984,000 ($51,000 for SMEs). Attacks exploiting common software vulnerabilities affected 39 per cent of companies. Large corporations incurred an average of $661,000 in damages from these types of attacks, while SMEs incurred roughly $61,000.

According to a study by Kaspersky Lab earlier this week, Middle East users face a “constantly rising tide” of cyber threats, with the UAE facing the highest number of malware threats, followed by Saudi Arabia and Turkey.



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