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For the very first time, US security solution provider Crowdstrike has compiled a ranking documenting the speed of cyber attackers. This ranking places Russian actors top, with a breakout time of 18 minutes and 49 seconds – the time between when the first machine is compromised and when the attack spreads to other systems in the network. North Korea and China rank in second and third place, respectively. Although ‘eCrime groups’ demonstrated an average breakout time of 9 hours and 42 minutes, some acted much faster. Given this speed, Crowdstrike says that companies “cannot afford to take a passive approach” to protecting their data and need to add a 24-hour real-time threat search to their existing data protection activities.

The sheer scale of cybercrime in Germany today was highlighted in a study published by German digital association Bitkom in October 2018: This study found that between seven and ten companies had fallen victim to sabotage, data theft, or espionage in the last two years, costing German industry a total of €43.4 billion in damages.