Cyber attacks cost UK economy £1bn per annum
20 March 2019 16:29 GMT

NETSCOUT, a provider of security and assurance solutions, has found that the cost (to the UK economy) of DDoS attacks could exceed £1 billion ($1.31bn).

The data shows that in 2018, 91% of the businesses surveyed experienced a DDoS attack, and downtime averaged 67 minutes per attack. Each successful attack came with the attached price tag of over £140,000, and this worked out at an average cost of £2,140 per minute!

"Not only do these attacks create significant challenges for businesses in terms of recovering from outages, but it can also create a host of ramifications, with respondents citing a series of measurable attack consequences, such as revenue loss, increased expenses, reputational impact, surging insurance premiums, and loss of customers highlighting the longer-term damage successful attacks can bring."

Darren Anstee, NETSCOUT CTO, Security, commented, “The tools to initiate DDoS attacks are cheap, freely available and easily deployed - as a result, there are more than ten thousand DDoS attacks every day around the world. The size and complexity of attacks continue to grow and businesses must make sure their key resources are adequately protected – including in the cloud, SaaS etc…”

“We know that DDoS attacks target businesses of all shapes and sizes, but we wanted to quantify the economic impact on the UK’s largest employers. Our research data revealed that around 86% of major UK enterprises questioned were attacked at least once in 2018. 90% of these UK businesses experienced downtime, which averaged 67 minutes for the year, and the downtime costs were estimated at £2,140 per minute.

“If we assume those impacts apply equally to the 8,000 UK companies with more than 250 employees, the total cost equates to approximately £900 million. However, we know that the wide availability of the required tools has ‘democratised’ DDoS. Much smaller companies are also under attack and so the true cost to the UK economy is likely to significantly exceed £1 billion per annum.”

NETSCOUT’s findings also show that DDoS attacks have ramifications beyond just service downtime. Respondents cited a series of measurable attack consequences, such as revenue loss (36.2%), increased operational expenses (38.6%), reputational impact (36.2%), surging insurance premiums (31.9%) and loss of customers (30.7%), highlighting the longer-term damage successful attacks can bring.