Virus Costs Estimated At $10.7 Billion

Viruses have cost businesses $10.7 billion so far this year, estimates Computer Economics.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

September 6, 2001

1 Min Read

Research firm Computer Economics estimates the total costs related to cleaning viruses from infected systems, lost productivity, and restoring damaged files reached $10.7 billion through August of this year. The firm also estimated that viruses cost businesses $17.1 billion in 2000 and $12.1 billion in 1999.

Michael Erbschloe, VP of research at Computer Economics, says that one more major outbreak such as last year's LoveBug virus, or this year's Code Red worm, could push virus-related costs for 2001 over last year's $17.1 billion. However, Erbschloe says most large companies hit by last year's outbreaks have reduced virus-related costs this year by taking precautions, such as installing anti-virus software.

"The problem is worse among Soho small office, home office and midsize companies who have fewer resources to address the problem," says Erbschloe. "Many smaller companies are going online and using the Web and E-mail as a business tool. However, they haven't installed the necessary levels of protection." Erbschloe also says some of the costs can be traced to service providers, who, he claims, failed to take proper precautions on their networks, especially for attacks by the worm Code Red.

Malicious applications with the highest price tag this year, says Erbschloe, have been the Code Red worm, at $2.6 billion, and the SirCam virus, which has caused just over $1 billion in damage with more than 2,300,000 infections.

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