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The Rising Cost of Digital Theft and Espionage in Germany

The German digital association, Bitkom, recently announced that the cost of IT equipment theft, data breaches, digital and industrial espionage, and sabotage is expected to reach a staggering 206 billion euros ($224 billion) in 2023. This alarming figure marks the third consecutive year that damages have exceeded 200 billion euros, as revealed by a comprehensive Bitkom survey involving over 1,000 companies.

A Highly Attractive Target: Bitkom President Ralf Wintergerst highlighted that the German economy is particularly appealing to criminals and hostile states, leading to a blurred line between organized crime and state-controlled activities. Despite a slight decline in the number of companies affected by digital attacks over the past year, from 84% to around 75%, the threat remains significant. Wintergerst noted that this decrease indicates the positive impact of protective measures implemented by businesses.

The Growing Threat to Business Existence: Interestingly, when companies were asked if cyber attacks threatened their business existence, 52% responded affirmatively, a notable increase from 45% the previous year and just 9% two years ago. This shift underscores the escalating severity of the cyber threat landscape.

The Impact of Attacks: Of the companies that experienced attacks, 70% reported the theft of sensitive data, a 7 percentage point increase from the previous year. Additionally, 61% of companies indicated that their digital communications were compromised, a 4 percentage point increase from the previous year.

Strengthening Defenses: In response to this growing threat, Sinan Selen, president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, emphasized the need for stronger cooperation with partners, rapid detection and response to attacks, and continuous adaptation of defense mechanisms.

The rising cost of digital theft, espionage, and sabotage in Germany underscores the urgent need for businesses to bolster their cyber defenses and collaborate with partners to combat this growing threat. With more than half of the companies surveyed indicating that cyber attacks pose a threat to their business existence, it is clear that this issue demands immediate attention and strategic action.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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