The Home Office has published a report outlining the development of a governmental framework for estimating the costs of cyber crime to the UK.

Intended to help take the research community closer towards achieving better estimates of the costs of cyber crime, the ‘Understanding the costs of cyber Crime’ report sets out the framework that will now be used for estimating future expenses.

The report highlights how important it is to understand where different costs fall – for example, in terms of cyber crime prevention, or in response to cyber crime. It also emphasises the importance of establishing what forms these expenses will take, as well as who the most affected will be.

Among the report’s key findings is a new estimate of £1.6 million in costs to the UK government and industry targets from a sample of 1,250 web defacements that occurred between 2007 and 2015, with an average cost per defacement of approximately £1,200.

It also provided a new estimate of £5.1 million in costs to UK-based companies of 89 malwareinfections reported to the Malware Domain List between 2009 and 2014. The average cost per infection was found to be in excess of £57,000.

In addition, the report revealed that the fear of cyber crime has a measurable ‘soft’ expense. An analysis found that within the EU, the UK is the sixth most fearful of economic cyber crimes.

The report also makes a number of recommendations on the design of future research into the costs of cyber crime. This includes that future studies investigate the financial impact of cyberattacks on a businesses’ reputation as well as further investigate the costs and profits to offenders of engaging in cyber crime.

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