Cyber attacks hurting U.S. businesses more than ever

Cyber attacks hurting U.S. businesses more than ever

The Hewlett-Packard software company and the Ponemon Institute of Cyber Crime released a report on Tuesday that shows cyberattacks are now costing the average U.S. business over $15 million a year.


In 2014, cyber crime was costing U.S. companies $12.7 million, which means it increased 19 percent only one year later. Businesses located in the United States are being hit with more cyberattacks, since the global average cost only increased by 1.9 percent in the last year, bringing it to $7.7 million. Why are cyber crimes being committed more frequently?  


“As an industry we’re getting better, but attacks are becoming much more invasive and sophisticated,” said HP Enterprise Security’s Chief Technology Officer Andrzej Kawalec.   


Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are becoming more popular now that they are cheap for hackers to pull off. It only costs about $38 an hour for a hacker to launch a DDoS attack that can temporarily bring down a business website by flooding the company’s system. While it’s cheap to dispatch a DDoS attack, it costs the victim about $40,000 an hour, according to the cyber security company Incapsula.


Ashley Madison leak


Cyber crimes don’t just affect a business’s finances, they can also hurt a company’s reputation by causing a public relations disaster. There have been many large-scale data breaches in the United States this year, and one of the biggest hits was to the dating website Ashley Madison. After the personal information of millions of Ashley Madison users was leaked in July, less people trusted that the company could keep their accounts private. The hack also lead to a $578 million lawsuit against the company after customers had their information leaked, despite the $19 fee they paid for their personal information to be deleted from the website’s records.       


To try and prevent future costly attacks, many businesses have had to spend more money to strengthen their security. If cybersecurity companies can’t find a way to fight the sophisticated attacks launched by this new age of hackers, U.S. businesses may have to rethink their security providers.   


Why do you think U.S. companies are frequently the targets of cyberattacks? Will the United States see an increase or decrease in cyber crimes in the next year? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.


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