A survey released by the Computer Security Institute (CSI) and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows that incidents of unauthorized use of computer systems declined in the last year, continuing a trend that began in 2001.
According to the “2004 Computer Crime and Security Survey”, just 53 percent of the 494 surveyed computer security practitioners acknowledged the unauthorized use of a computer in their organization in the last 12 months, the smallest percentage recorded since 1999. The survey also found that denial of service (DoS) attacks were the most costly for organizations and that fewer organizations are reporting computer intrusions to law enforcement.
In addition to a decrease in unauthorized access to computer systems, the number of respondents who said that there was no unauthorized access to a computer in their organization increased in the last year to 35 percent, and only 11 percent of those polled said they did not know if there was any unauthorized use of a machine.
New questions in this year’s survey revealed that 15 percent of respondents reported that wireless networks at their organization had been abused and 10 percent experienced the misuse of public Web applications.
DoS attacks were, by far, the most costly, when measured in dollars, according to the survey. The total losses from DoS attacks in the last 12 months were reported to be US$26 million by those responding to the survey. Theft of proprietary information was the next most costly type of attack, with $11.4 million in total losses reported, the survey said.