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Hackers left firms poorer by $4 bn in first half of 2017

IANS | New Delhi |

Global losses due to cyber attacks, including cost of damage control and productivity loss, amounted to as much as $4 billion in the first half of 2017, a new report claimed on Thursday.

According to the ‘2017 Midyear Security Roundup’ by global cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, businesses are faced with increased ransomware, Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams and Internet of Things (IoT) attacks.

Trend Micro detected more than 82 million ransomware threats, along with more than 3,000 BEC attempts in the first half of the year, highlighting the importance of cybersecurity investments.

“Major cyber attacks against enterprises globally have continued to be a hot-button topic this year and this trend is likely to continue through the remainder of 2017,” said Max Cheng, Chief Information Officer, Trend Micro, in a statement.

“Enterprises need to prioritise funds for effective security upfront, as the cost of a breach is frequently more than a company’s budget can sustain,” Cheng added.

In April and June, “WannaCrypt” and “Petya” ransomware attacks affected thousands of companies world-wide. In addition, BEC scams raised the total of global losses to $5.3 billion, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The first half of the year also saw rise in IoT attacks and showed that industrial robots can be compromised, which could amount to massive financial damage and productivity loss, the report added.

There was also increased abuse of social media with the rise of cyber-propaganda, spread of fake news and bad publicity, which can cause serious financial ramifications for businesses.