Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Study reveals hacking costs to reach $1.6 trillion

Out-Law News | 12 Jul 2000 | 12:00 am |

A recently revealed survey of information technology professionals in 30 different countries indicates that the global economy will lose an estimated $1.6 trillion this year from illegal hacking.

The study, carried out by Information Week Research on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers, claims to be the “broadest sampling ever achieved in the security industry”. In a separate report also released last week, Reality Research suggested that a realistic expectation would be $1.5 trillion.

It is widely believed that the majority of damage is done through the infiltration of computer viruses into networks. The dangers associated with viruses have been well publicised since the Love Bug virus attacked computer systems in May causing widespread damage.

Representing Information Week Research, Rusty Weston noted that, “the findings indicate that viruses are far more disruptive than most people realise... lost productivity will undoubtedly force many IT organisations to reassess their network defences and security policies”.

The Department of Trade and Industry's Information Security Breaches Survey 2000 revealed that 60% of organisations in the UK have suffered a security breach in the last 2 years. Of these, only a few could assess the true business implications of the breaches, while those that could indicated that the cost of a single breach was more than £100,000.