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Cyberattacks are Threatening the Economic Existence | TÜV Rheinland

Cyberattacks are Threatening the Economic Existence

The costs of cyber incidents and data breaches are higher than ever.

Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and consequential. And where there is a threat of significant financial, operational, legal and reputational damage, there is also an increased risk of organizations and businesses facing ruin.

A total damage of 203 billion euros

No wonder given the increasing frequency: In its Ransomware Report 2023, the British security company Sophos found that 66% of companies were exposed to a ransomware incident last year. Of these attacks, 76% led to data encryption, after which 84% of the victims faced significant business losses and revenue declines.

  • The average median ransom is $1.54 million, which is almost double the value of 2022 ($812,380).
  • The average recovery cost without ransom payment is $1.82 million.
  • 84% of affected businesses have suffered significant revenue losses as a result of the attack (private sector only).
  • The Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM shows similar figures. Here are the most important facts at a glance:
    • In 2022, the cost of a data breach reached a new high of an average of 4.35 million US dollars.
    • This figure represents a 2.6% increase from the previous year, when the average cost of a data breach was 4.24 million.
    • The average cost of a data breach for the critical infrastructure companies surveyed was 4.82 million US dollars – 1 million more than the average cost for companies in other industries.
    • The top five countries and regions with the highest average cost for a data breach were the United States at 9.44 million US dollars, the Middle East at 7.46 million, Canada at 5.64 million, the United Kingdom at 5.05 million, and Germany at 4.85 million.

A variety of reasons for costly cyber incidents

Cyberattacks pose a danger that threatens businesses more than ever. Not only can they significantly disrupt ongoing operations, but they can also cause long-term financial and reputational damage, ranging from direct operational and recovery costs over legal consequences to intangible damages such as reputational loss and loss of competitive advantage.

Operational downtime

Cyber incidents can disrupt the business and decrease the revenue, resulting in increased costs.


High costs for system repair, data rescue, and consulting.

Legal risks

Risk of penalties and lawsuits, especially under strict data protection laws.

Reputational damage

The loss of customer confidence leads to decreasing sales.

IP theft

Risk of losing competitive advantages.


Higher premiums or more complicated coverage.

Follow-up costs

Investment in better security and training.

Loss of strategy

Threat to business strategies due to data loss.

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