The annual cost of recouping from cyber crime for businesses can reach as much as $5 million, according to a new Cybernomics 101 report from Barracuda Networks, a leading provider of cloud-first security solutions.
The research delved into the economic forces that drive cyber attacks, surveying nearly 2000 IT security practitioners managing security systems across Asia Pacific (APAC), the United States, and the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions.
The report illustrates that enterprises with a workforce of 100 to 5,000 can face an average annual cost of $5.34 million to address damage inflicted by successful cyber attacks like ransomware or phishing. This figure includes not only the cost of repairing or replacing compromised IT assets but also the financial impact of operational disruptions triggered by such incidents.
Barracuda's research further indicates that cybercriminals might soon harness the power of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) technology to ramp up the intensity, sophistication, and success rate of cyber attacks. Half of the surveyed security professionals believe AI will enable increased frequency of attacks whilst only 39% are confident their existing security systems can effectively thwart GenAI-powered assaults.
Ransomware, a malicious software that blocks access to computer systems until a sum of money is paid, remains a widespread issue. The study revealed that 71% of respondents experienced a ransomware attack in the previous year, and 61% admitted to paying the ransom. The ransom amount paid for an attack could be as high as $1.38 million on average.
Despite the highlighted challenges, the report presents promising solutions by identifying successful security tactics employed by 'High Performers'. These include adopting a holistic platform approach to security, implementing prioritised access rights, and drafting and rehearsing a security incident response plan.
Fleming Shi, CTO at Barracuda, stated that while the report underscored the harsh reality of data breaches, it also highlighted that organisations were not powerless.
"Proactive monitoring and attack detection to prevent progression to more severe stages like data exfiltration or ransomware is key. By preparing for these scenarios today, organisations can significantly reduce the impact and cost of these incidents."
Mark Lukie, Director of Solution Architects at Barracuda APAC, emphasised the need for cyber-resilience due to the significant impact cyber-attacks can have on organisations.
"As technology continues to advance and we start to see hackers harness the power of GenAI to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their attacks, it's a vicious cycle," he said. The report's insights and best practices could provide businesses an edge in minimising the impact of such attacks, he added.