Cyber attacks hit German companies hard

Billions Lost as Cyber Attacks Hit More than Half of German Businesses

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

In today’s digital age, the treat of cyber attacks are high on the threat list for any business, and while larger corporations may have the best resources to protect against such an attack, new figures out of Germany show that there is still work to be done as more than half of all businesses in the country have been hit in the last two years, sending the damage into the billions.

“we still have work to do on cyber security in Germany”

With Bitkom releasing their report stating that 53-percent of German businesses were recently hit by either data theft, industrial espionage or sabotage, Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) issued a response urging mostly medium and small businesses to tighten security. BSI president Arne Schoenbohm said in his statement on Friday that the “high number of companies affected clearly shows that we still have work to do on cyber security in Germany.”

And while the large-scale threats hog most of the media attention, they only make up a small percentage of the cyber attacks. A majority of the companies (62-percent) believed the attacks were carried out internally by current employees or workers who were recently let go, while competitors, customers and suppliers were said to be the largest threat by 41-percent of targeted companies.

The heavily publicized sources of cyber attacks, including foreign governments and hobby hackers, only accounted for a small amount of incidents with three-percent and 21-percent respectively.

Putting a cost on cyber attacks is not always easy to determine as hackers are often after information and not money, but in the Bitkom report, the agency has estimated that companies are losing 55 billion euros ($62 million) each year from such attacks.

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Sources: Reuters, Bitkom, BSI

Photo: Markus Spiske

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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