Number crunching

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Dec 19, 2003

Calculating the average cost of a virus attack - estimates or guesstimates?

This month has seen a flurry of the traditional end-of-year predictions for the security challenges in the year ahead, along with a number of reports estimating the cost of virus attacks to businesses in 2003.

However, it is difficult (if not impossible) to truly quantify the 'average' cost of a virus attack with so many variables and subjective issues to be considered. This fact was suitably illustrated by two recent news reports published just one week apart in Computer Weekly (CW).

First, CW reported that a single virus attack could cost your business £66,000 - a figure arrived at by analyst firm Datamonitor. The firm estimated an average cost to businesses of £26,000 for the more 'serious' virus incidents, while 11 per cent of survey respondents said their companies had suffered greater than £66,000 losses from a single incident.

One week later, CW reported the results of a different survey, this time carried out by the Corporate IT Forum (Tif). The Tif survey indicated that the 'true cost' per virus attack to UK companies is an average of £122,000 - a figure nearly double that indicated by the Datamonitor findings (and more than four times greater than the £30,000 per attack cost estimated by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Department of Trade and Industry's 2002 Information Security Breaches Survey).

Confused? All we can recommend is that figures such as these be taken with a dose of salt. While VB recognises the importance of bringing home the notion that virus attacks can and do cause significant losses and upheaval to businesses, it is unlikely that analysts will come up with a reliable formula for putting an accurate figure on those losses.



Posted on 19 December 2003 by Virus Bulletin

 Tags

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
hackernews.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

VB2018 paper: Internet balkanization: why are we raising borders online?

At VB2018 in Montreal, Ixia researcher Stefan Tanase presented a thought-provoking paper on the current state of the Internet and the worrying tendency towards raising borders and restricting the flow of information. Today we publish both his paper…

The malspam security products miss: banking and email phishing, Emotet and Bushaloader

The set-up of the VBSpam test lab gives us a unique insight into the kinds of emails that are more likely to bypass email filters. This week we look at the malspam that was missed: banking and email phishing, Emotet and Bushaloader.

VB2018 paper: Where have all the good hires gone?

The cybersecurity skills gap has been described as one of the biggest challenges facing IT leaders today. At VB2018 in Montreal, ESET's Lysa Myers outlined some of the things the industry can do to help address the problem. Today we publish Lysa's…

Preview: Nullcon 2019

We look forward the Nullcon 2019 conference in Goa, India, at which VB Editor Martijn Grooten will give a talk on the state of malware.

From Amazon to Emotet: a look at those phishing and malware emails that bypassed email security products

We see a lot of spam in the VBSpam test lab, and we also see how well such emails are being blocked by email security products. Recently some of the emails that bypassed security products included a broken Amazon phishing campaign, a large fake UPS…

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.