September 23, 2011

Malware and other online attackers will be responsible for an estimated $210 million in losses in North America this year, according to a new report released by Boston-based analyst firm Aite Group.

The report examines the current threat of cybercrime for banks and businesses globally, discusses related regulation, and explores businesses' perceptions of financial institutions' responses. It is based on research collected during three Aite Group studies as well as conversations with more than 40 vendors in the space.

The firm expects that the losses due to corporate account takeovers will increase from the $210 million estimated this year to $371 million in 2015. The analysts also said there will be 25 million new, unique strains of malware released per year by the end of 2011, and that number is expected to grow to 87 million by the end of 2015.

The news is not entirely bleak, however, as the industry has developed a number of approaches to protecting itself, according to Julie Conroy McNelley, senior analyst with Aite Group and co-author of the report.

"It is much easier to be a successful bad guy than a successful good guy; a criminal who is successful in one of 100 attempts will make off with a tidy sum," she said. "Banks, on the other hand, must seek perfection in their attempts to protect themselves and their customers."

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...