Malware costs fall

9 January 2006 Businesses are getting better at dealing with viruses and worms, according to the latest research, with the cost of dealing with malware dropping in 2005.

According to a report by analyst group Computer Economics, global spending on dealing with the effects of viruses and worms dropped in 2005. It is the first drop in the financial impact of malware since 2002.

The authors of ‘The 2005 Malware Report,’ – based on data from 150 global organisations – said companies had tightened network security while vendors had improved malware protection software.

But the nature of malware has evolved, the report concluded, to become more focussed on individual organisations and more specifically designed to steal funds, rather than just cause random damage. This means that the economic impact of malicious code is concentrated on a few companies in sectors that attract attacks.

The report also found that the most expensive element of dealing with malicious code in 2005 was the labour involved in analysing, repairing and cleansing systems. In 2004, the most expensive element was found to be lost revenue caused by attacks.

The authors also acknowledge that costs related to malware may be underestimated, with some businesses keen to downplay losses.

“Until targeted organisations are willing to report such activity,” the report warned “it will be difficult for law enforcement to apprehend the criminals and break up the organisations that profit from such crimes.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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