We’ve known for years that a data breach or hack can cost a business everywhere from thousands to tens of millions of dollars. For example, the infamous hack of Target and its credit card users cost $191 million. Thankfully for the company, they had insurance which cut the total cost by $46 million to $145 million.

Studies show exactly how much cyber crime costs

But now we’re getting a better idea of how much it costs criminals to execute the hacks. A recent study by Deloitte has revealed that for as little as $34 per month, a company can be hacked and have its data stolen and services disrupted.

Hire a hacker for as low as $34

When you look at how much the average hacker can make from these attacks, it becomes more apparent why hacking is on the increase—it’s a lucrative business. For $34, a hacker could expect to net about $25,000 in one month. If they’re willing to shell out $3800, they could get back over $1 million in the same time frame.

Hacking is so lucrative, it’s attracting a wide range of individuals

Within returns of this range, hacking is attracting not only skilled computer experts, but also novice criminals who are looking to exploit this new criminal venture. Today, you don’t need a lot of hacking know-how. Individuals can purchase hacking services including “hacking for hire” from individuals on the Dark Web. These include:

  • Hacking a basic website (with little security) –$2000
  • Hacking Facebook accounts–$19.99 for three months
  • Hacking a Gmail account–$90
  • Hacking a Netflix password–$1.25
  • Hacking Yelp (to increase positive reviews for a business or negative reviews for a competitor–$3 to $350

Novices can even get hacking lessons for as little as $20 per hour.

Target is prime example of the financial and brand cost of being hacked

When you look at the cost of these attacks over a long period of time, the results can be devastating. Target suffered over $150 million in losses from their breach. But what was worse (and harder to calculate) is that the brand name was damaged in the eyes of the public. They lost more money from consumers who shied away from them in fear of being compromised. And that’s a major conglomerate like Target.

60% of businesses go out of business within 6 months of cyber attack

For smaller businesses, the news is even worse. A recent study of small businesses that were hacked showed that 60% of them went out of business within six months of the attack. That’s because the average hack of a small business cost the company about $690,000 according to the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance. No small business has that much money lying around to cover those types of expenses, especially considering the low cost of hacking which seems to encourage multiple attacks.

The main takeaway for businesses

With all of this in mind, the main takeaways that come from this report is that business owners should stay informed about cyber-attacks so they can make informed decisions about how best to handle them. This includes learning as much as possible about the changing landscaping of hacking including “hacking-for-hire.” Continuous monitoring as well as vigilance is the only way to stay one step ahead of the hackers.

RadiusBridge has an ear to the ground on all aspects of cyber security. We make sure our clients know we have their back by letting them know about upcoming concerns such as the GDPR. Have questions about you or your company’s cyber security? Contact us for a free consultation.