Cost of cyber crime rises sharply

Cyber crime inflation significantly outpaced that of the cost of living over the past year, according to a second annual survey of 50 organizations. Cyber crime cost those organizations an average of $5.9 million a year, a 56 percent increase over the first study, published a year ago.

The report, released Aug. 2, was produced by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by ArcSight, an Hewlett-Packard company. The organizations in the survey reported 72 successful breaches per week, which comes out to 1.4 breaches per organization per week. The average time to respond to an incident was 18 days.

Related coverage:

After US crackdown on botnets, cyber criminals run to Canada

Cyber crime was most costly for the defense industry, where it cost on average nearly $20 million a year per company. The cost for the public sector was slightly below average, at about $5.24 million.

The good news is that the use of tools for security information and event management cut the cost of response by 24 percent on average.

What you make of the figures is up to you. The study’s caveats point out that the results are not statistical and were produced from a small response from a small sample, and there is no way to measure how honest those responses are.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.


  • senior center (vuqarali/

    Bmore Responsive: Home-grown emergency response coordination 

    Working with the local Code for America brigade, Baltimore’s Health Department built a new contact management system that saves hundreds of hours when checking in on senior care centers during emergencies.

  • man checking phone in the dark (Maridav/

    AI-based ‘listening’ helps VA monitor vets’ mental health

    To better monitor veterans’ mental health, especially during the pandemic, the Department of Veterans Affairs is relying on data and artificial intelligence-based analytics.

Stay Connected