Companies to spend $500b to deal with malware, data breach

Tags: IT
Enterprises worldwide are expected to spend nearly $500 billion this year to deal with problems related to malware and data breaches, a study said today.

According to the joint study conducted by IDC and the National University of Singapore (NUS), enterprises may have to spend $127 billion on security issues and $364 billion dealing with data breaches.

Global consumers, on the other hand, are expected to spend $25 billion and waste 1.2 billion hours this year because of security threats and costly computer fixes stemming from malware on pirated software.

The study, titled 'The Link Between Pirated Software and Cybersecurity Breaches' found 60% respondents (consumers) saying their greatest fear from infected software is loss of data, files or personal information.

This is followed by unauthorised Internet transactions (51%) and hijacking of email, social networking and bank accounts (50 percent).

"Cybercriminals are profiting from any security lapse they can find, with financially devastating results for everyone," Microsoft Cybercrime Center Executive Director and Associate General Counsel David Finn said.

Motivated by money, they have found new ways to break into computer networks so they can grab whatever they want identity, passwords and money, he added.

The study was released as part of Microsoft's 'Play It Safe' campaign, a global initiative to create greater awareness of the connection between malware and piracy.

The study stated that nearly two-thirds of enterprises surveyed said they could lose $315 billion at the hands of organised criminals.

Nearly 20% of the pirated software in enterprises is installed by employees, it added.

About 28% of enterprise respondents reported security breaches causing network, computer or website outages occurring every few months or more with 65% of those outages involved malware on end-user computers.

"Using pirated software is like walking through a field of landmines: You don't know when you will come upon something nasty, but if you do it can be very destructive," IDC Chief Researcher John Gantz said.

The financial hazards are considerable, and the potential losses could leave once-profitable businesses on shaky ground, he added.

"Buying legitimate software is less expensive in the long run - at least you know that you would not get anything 'extra' in the form of malware," Gantz said.

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