Today's cybercrimes put your grandmother's spam email list to shame. According to a 2011 study by Ponemon Institute, the median annual cost of cybercrime for a large company is $5.9 million per year. Ponemon and ArcSight studied the effect of cybercrime on 50 large organizations in various industry sectors in the United States for the "Second Annual Cost of Cyber Crime" study.

Cybercrime is criminal activity conducted via the internet and includes such things as malicious codes, hacks in which private client or company information is made public or stolen and disrupting normal operation. It can be perpetrated by rogue employees, "hacktivists" attempting to make a political statement or a third party seeking financial gain.

These attacks have become common occurrences. (Slideshow: 5 Notorious Data Breaches) While everyone has heard of Wikileaks and the problems experienced by Google, Sony and many major banks, smaller companies are not immune from cyber attacks. Companies participating in Ponemon's study experienced more than one attack per company per week, a 44 percent increase from the previous year's study. Any company that stores Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Personal Health Information (PHI) is vulnerable to attack.

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