How much do cyber criminals really earn?

A report from Palo Alto Networks has revealed that UK cyber criminals earn an average of just £8,600 from one successful attack.

This is approximately £2,000 less that their German and US counterparts, who can earn £10,400 and £10,900 respectively. On average adversaries earn just over £20,000 a year, compared with a cybersecurity professional who can earn up to four times as much.

The report also found 75 per cent of adversaries in the UK are opportunistic when choosing to launch a cyber attack on a particular organisation. The opportunistic nature of UK adversaries, coupled with their reduced profit, makes them a considerable threat as they search for easy targets to make up their margin.

However, the same research showed that if businesses can increase the time it takes for an adversary to mount a successful attack by just 40 hours – via proper systems and precautions which hinder the threat actor – as much as 60 per cent of attacks can be eliminated.

As such, to ensure they don’t fall victim, businesses must make themselves a hard target, and adopt a prevention-first mind-set, instead of a detection and incident response approach. A prevention-first attitude can slow down a cyberattacker enough for them to abandon the attack in favour of an easier target.

Ultimately, the adoption of a prevention-first mind-set will make it economically unviable for cyber criminals to attack a business, say their experts.

You can read more information on the economics on a cyber attack by downloading the report “Flipping the Economics of Attacks”.

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