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How Scary is Cyber Crime?

J_G_Lynn ‎10-31-2013 12:01 AM - edited ‎07-07-2015 12:12 PM

It's the season for ghosts and goblins, monsters and zombies. But there is nothing quite as scary as Cyber Crime! Just like Dr. Frankenstein's monster, when Tim Berners-Lee invented the web in 1989 he had no idea what havoc it would bring to the world. Every day, people are destroyed when their identities are stolen by criminals and terrorists. Large corporations are brought to their knees, and the rest of us are left trembling just thinking about what lurks behind the next hyperlink.


Think I'm exaggerating? According to Ponemon Institute's 2013 Cost of Cyber Crime Study, cyber attacks have become common occurrences, up to 2 successful attacks per week at each company surveyed! And if that's not scary enough, the average cost per year is $11.6 million - yes, that's per company. And by the way, that's an 18% increase in cost over 2012. What is the cause of these cyber crimes? The top three causes are denial of service, malicious insiders and web-based attacks. The study shows that web-based attacks affect 63% of companies. Despite this, companies surveyed allocate only 15% of their cyber security budget to the application layer.


But surely applications are getting safer, code is getting more secure as companies learn from their mistakes, right? Not so. While some companies are doing their best to plug the holes, many continue to write insecure apps. For example, one of the oldest web application vulnerabilities, cross-site scripting, continues to be one of the most prevalent vulnerabilities according to OWASP's Top 10 list. The same is true of other vulnerabilities, SQL injection is at the top of the list. Meanwhile, the threat landscape is growing. In addition to web applications, hackers are now given the opportunity to attack other entry points: web services, the cloud, and of course the fastest growing threat surface of all - mobile applications. There is no end in sight, the situation appears to be getting worse daily. The best you can hope for is to protect what is yours.


If you think all of this is reason to be scared - you are right. But just wait until you see what's coming next year! Code safely my friend.



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