Computer Crime and Security Survey

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The Computer Security Institute (CSI) has teamed with the San Francisco Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Computer Intrusion Squad to complete the eighth annual Computer Crime and Security Survey. Through the survey, CSI and the FBI hope to raise levels of security awareness in addition to uncovering how much computer crime takes place in the United States. Based on responses from corporations, government agencies, financial institutions, medical institutions and universities, the Computer Crime and Security Survey shows that threats from computer crime and information security breaches remain a problem.




Overall, financial losses dropped in this year’s survey. Last year, 503 respondents reported a little more than $455 million in losses, while this year 530 respondents reported just over $200 million in losses. This year, 75 percent of organizations reported financial losses, but only 47 percent could quantify them. Financial fraud losses in particular were dramatically lower. Last years survey recorded almost $116 million in losses for financial fraud, while this year’s survey showed just over $9 million.




While many organizations worry about attacks from the inside, this year’s survey once again shows that threats to large companies and government agencies are both external and internal. Forty-five percent of respondents reported unauthorized access by insiders. However, for the fourth year in a row more of the respondents said their Internet connection was a frequent point of attack as opposed to their internal systems.




According to Chris Keating, director of CSI, the Computer Crime and Security Survey highlights disturbing trends. “Cyber crimes and other information security breaches are widespread and diverse. Fully 92 percent of respondents reported attacks,” he said. He added that organizations need to do more to ensure their own security, from adhering to sound practices to deploying technology and staffing and training information security practitioners.




The complete survey is available on the CSI Web site, at


Emily Hollis is associate editor for Certification Magazine. She can be reached at

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