The cost of cyber crime for businesses has jumped by almost 80 per cent in the past four years, while the time it takes to resolve a cyber attack has more than doubled in the same period, with inside jobs the most common form of attack.
That's according to a study by research firm Ponemon Institute on behalf of HP Enterprise Security, the results of which are published in the 2013 Cost of Cyber Crime Study: Global Report.
According to research involving a total of 234 companies across six countries, the average cost of cyber crime per organisation over the past year in the US was $11.6m (£7.2m), an increase of $2.6m (£1.6m), or over a quarter, compared with 2012.
The average cost of cyber crime to organisations in the UK over the same period was $4.7m (£2.9m). In all countries, defence and security contractors were the biggest losers, followed by financial services and utilities and infrastructure.
The most costly cyber attacks are caused by DDoS attacks and malicious hacking attempts by insiders and through the web, all of which together account for more than 55 per cent of cyber crime costs. Ponemon's research states that the number of attacks per week has risen since last year, up from an average of 102 attempted breaches to 122.
Meanwhile, the average time it takes to resolve a cyber attack, according to the research, is 32 days, with an average cost of $32,469 (£20,221) per day to the affected organisation.
It's when malicious insiders are involved that it takes the most time for organisations to resolve a cyber attack, with the research suggesting that when subjected to this type of cyber crime, it took an average of 53 days for it to be resolved.
"Information is a powerful weapon in an organisation's cyber security arsenal," said Dr Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute.
"Based on real-world experiences and in-depth interviews with more than 1,000 security professionals around the globe, the Cost of Cyber Crime research provides valuable insights into the causes and costs of cyber attacks," he continued.
"The research is designed to help organisations make the most cost-effective decisions possible in minimizing the greatest risks to their companies."
"The threat landscape continues to evolve as cyber attacks grow in sophistication, frequency and financial impact," added Frank Mong, vice president and general manager, solutions, enterprise security products for HP.