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Online crime costs more than $1m a minute

More than $1m is lost to cyber crime every minute, a report reveals, underlining the increasing and significant threats businesses face online

Every 60 seconds, close to $1.14m is lost to cyber crime, and 1,861 people fall victim, according to a report by threat management firm RiskIQ.

Bad actors continue to proliferate online, the report said, despite businesses’ best efforts to guard against external cyber threats and cyber defence spending of up to $171,233 a minute.

“As the internet and its community continue to grow at a rapid pace, the threat landscape targeting it grows at scale as well,” said Elias Manousos, chief executive at RiskIQ.

“We made the vast numbers associated with it more accessible by framing them in the context of an ‘internet minute’ using the latest research as well as our own global threat intelligence,” he said.

The research defines the sheer scale of attacks that take place across the internet, said Manousos, in an attempt to help businesses better understand what they are up against online.

Attacker tactics include malware, phishing and supply chain attacks targeting third-parties, the research shows. The motives include monetary gain, large-scale reputational damage, politics, and espionage.

Cyber criminals continue to find success in a range of other tactics, the report said, such as launching 1,274 pieces of unique malware and deploying more than nine malicious adverts every minute.

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RiskIQ’s research also uncovered additional malicious activity each minute, ranging from blacklisted mobile apps to malvertising.

Detailed analysis revealed that 1.5 organisations fall victim to ransomware attacks every minute with an average cost to businesses of $15,221, which amounts to around $8bn a year.

Analysis of online threats showed that each minute saw the appearance of 1,274 new variants of malware, 0.17 blacklisted mobile apps, 0.21 new phishing domains, 0.1 new sites running the CoinHive cryptocurrency mining script and four potentially vulnerable web components.

“As companies innovate online to make more meaningful touchpoints with their customers, partners and employees, attackers prey on their lack of visibility into their internet-facing attack surface to erode users’ trust and access credentials and sensitive data,” said Manousos said.

“Businesses must realise that they are vulnerable beyond the firewall, all the way across the open internet.”

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