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Cyber-frauds such as identity thefts and financial data breaches continued to damage global corporations this year despite increased IT security budgets. Poor identity and access control and lack of secured configuration management invariably leads to a disaster in most cases as highly technically advanced cybercriminals have tools to exploit the security gaps.

This year, however, cyber-assaults came with more sting. A spate of high-profile bank heist cases, including the $81 million cyber-theft involving Bangladesh’s central bank, brought to the fore how  financial institutions risk data-breach from both malicious outsiders and insiders.

Cyberattacks mainly involve stealing crucial data. The main aim is to get hold of the information by intruding critical IT assets like database servers which typically leads to financial gains. That’s why identity thefts remain as the most feared cyber-assault.

Denial-of-Service- Attacks (DOS), another form of cyberattack, is equally damaging though. DOS attacks typically target computer networks to interrupt or indeterminately suspend services of host servers.

Australia became the latest target of DOS. Earlier in August, the Australian government, conducting its first-ever online population census, had to suspend the survey, after cybercriminals, believed from overseas, forced a shutdown of the website by continuously targeting the host servers.

The country released a statement later denying theft of any sensitive data; however, it admitted that IT systems got affected due to “malicious attempts” to sabotage a census. That a highly publicized survey got suspended due to an overseas cyberattack is a matter of a grave concern, the loss of productivity, however, make such assaults more devastating.

Indeed, Neustar’s survey earlier this year, highlighted that CIOs, CISOs and CTOs are increasingly wary of DOS attacks. These attacks lead to a substantial loss of productivity, causing material financial losses. The report showed that globally, on an average, DOS attacks in a peak-time would cost 50% of companies at least $100,000. About a third of the organizations risk losing $250,000 or more, the survey found.

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