Cyber crime costs are accelerating. With organizations spending nearly 23 percent more than last year—US$11.7 million, on average—they are investing on an unprecedented scale. Yet, whether managing incidents or the disruption from them, current spend priorities show that much of this is misdirected toward security capabilities that fail to deliver the best efficiency and effectiveness.

Backed by eight years of research, this latest study from the Ponemon Institute and Accenture evaluates the responses of 2,182 interviews from 254 companies in seven countries—Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States. Find out the economic impact of cyber attacks in your country or industry and gain practical guidance on how to stay ahead of a growing number of cyber threats.


Average number of security breaches each year


Net increase in average annual number of security breaches

Key findings

Highlights from the findings include:

  1. Organizations need to better balance investments in security technologies. Investments must be assessed and potentially reallocated to higher-value security technologies.
  2. Compliance technology is important but don’t bet the business on it. Spending on governance, risk and compliance (GRC) technologies is not a fast-track to increased security.
  3. Organizations need to grasp the innovation opportunity. Innovations are generating the highest returns on investment, yet investment in them is low.


Average cost of malware attack spend and the top cost to companies

50 days

Average time to resolve a malicious insiders attack


  1. Create strong cybersecurity foundations: Invest in the basics, such as security intelligence, while innovating to stay ahead of the hackers.
  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.

Floris van den Dool

Managing Director – Accenture Security​


The state of cybersecurity resilience 2021

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