Invest wisely to reduce the cost of cybercrime

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March 20, 2018
Invest wisely to reduce the cost of cybercrime
By: Rick Hemsley

Cybercrime costs UK businesses more than ever. New research from Accenture and the Ponemon Institute reveals the total cost of cybercrime in the country has risen from $7.21 million in 2016 to 8.74 million last year; an increase of 21 percent. While this upsurge is much lower than in other comparable economies—in Germany, for example, the cost of cybercrime increased 42 percent over the same period—it should still be a major cause for concern. Government and industry both recognise this and are engaging, sometimes jointly, to tackle this challenge. However, we have no "magic bullet" and our focus needs to remain on the need to innovate to stay ahead.

A question of investment

The security challenge facing businesses in the UK can largely be reduced to a question of investment. No matter how much a business spends on its cyber defences, if the money is spent in the wrong areas the enterprise will be at risk.

This begs the question: where are businesses spending their money? According to our research, the top three technology categories globally include: security intelligence systems (deployed by 67 percent of respondents), access management tools (63 percent), and advanced perimeter controls (58 percent).

In the UK, businesses are taking a well-balanced approach to investment relative to other countries, spreading their investments across automated policy management, risk and compliance technologies and data loss prevention technologies. It’s likely this balance has ensured the cost of cybercrime is growing at a slower rate in the UK compared to other regions.

However, the report also revealed that much more investment is needed in breakthrough technologies. At present, advanced technologies such as cyber analytics and user behaviour analytics (UBA)—deployed by 32 percent of organizations—and automation, orchestration and machine learning—deployed by 28 percent—are not widely deployed. This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Cybercriminals are getting increasingly sophisticated in their approaches and pose a threat to organisations by using these technologies to develop more effective attacks.

Three tips to reduce the cost of cybercrime

With cyber-attacks taking place with greater frequency and effectiveness, businesses must act now to ensure their systems are fit for purpose. Here are three tips to ensure you’re investing in the right areas:

  1. Build a strong foundation with brilliant basics: Invest in the basics to identify and protect your most valuable assets from the inside-out.

  2. Undertake extreme pressure testing: Don’t rely on compliance alone; identify vulnerabilities to be able to outwit and outpace attackers.

  3. Invest in breakthrough innovation: Balance spend on new technologies, such as analytics and artificial intelligence, to scale value.

Find out more

To find out more about the cost of cybercrime in the UK and globally please download our full report: 2017 Cost of Cybercrime Study

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