Cyber attacks cost companies in South Korea $72bn in 2017, according to a report released by the South Korean office of Microsoft earlier this week.
The Cyber Security Threat Report, which Microsoft produced together with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan and is based on a survey of companies, said that around 90% of the losses were due to indirect damage from attacks including tarnished corporate reputations, job losses and the fallout of losing customers, according to Business Korea.
The report called this phenomenon an ‘iceberg effect’, where indirect losses predominate compared with direct losses.
The report also addressed the cybersecurity awareness of the companies. 29% of them were not aware whether cyber attacks happened or not, while 35% said they were delaying digitalisation due to their concern about cyber attacks.
Microsoft Korea also said that major cyber crimes last year fell into three categories—botnets, phishing and ransomware.
A botnet is a network of internet-connected devices that are infected with malware and controlled without the user's knowledge, and can be used to launch distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS attacks. Phishing refers to attempts to obtain sensitive or personal information, typically for malicious purposes, by using deceptive emails or websites disguised as trustworthy. Ransomwares, on the other hand, refer to malicious codes that take over a user's computer functions and block their data and usage until they pay a ransom.
"In the rapidly changing digital world, companies must make cybersecurity a top priority for their organisation," said Microsoft Korea chief security officer Kim Gui-ryeon, cited in Business Korea.