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Why Cyber Criminals Attack: For The Money

Last week, the Ponemon Institute and Check Point Software Technologies released the results of a joint survey, "The Impact of Cybercrime on Business" (Adobe PDF), conducted to better understand the nature of online attacks which businesses of all sizes face. The survey included executives from companies in several countries. Key survey findings:

  • Companies experience an average of 66 cyber attacks per year
  • Mobile devices (e.g., smart phones and tablets) present an increased breach risk
  • Cyber crime is expensive, costing companies on average
  • Criminals attack for the money

Almost all survey participants said:

"... the primary goal for cybercriminals is financial fraud and/or access to the company’s financial records. In the U.S. and UK, financial gain is followed by theft of customer data. Approximately five percent of security attacks are motivated by political or ideological agendas."

So, identity thieves and cyber criminals attack employers to steal money: the employer's and/or yours. And, the criminals will attempt to use your mobile devices to gain access to employer's networks:

"... Hong Kong and Brazil report on average the highest percentage of mobile devices infected an act of cyber crime... the lowest average of infected mobile devices and machines connected to the network at 11 percent in the U.S. and nine percent in Germany."

The Ponemon/Check Point survey included more than 2,600 experienced business leaders and IT security practitioners from commpanies located in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Hong Kong and Brazil.A similar study by Symantec found that 50% of cyber attacks focused on businesses with fewer than 2,500 employees, and targeted mobile device and social networking users.

The Ponemon Institute helps both public sector and privbate sectors by performing independent research on privacy, data security, and information protection. Check Point Software Technologies provides organizations with a veriety of solutions to secure online networks and data.


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I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Expert witness

Having your private photos posted online without your consent would tear you up. Let us be aware that cyber crimes chooses no one.

Jason Hensely

Very nice and informative blog

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