Monday, June 9, 2014

At $400 Billion a Year, Cybercrime Is No Longer an 'Acceptable' Cost


A new report has placed a number on the global cost of cybercrime: around $400 billion. The Center for Strategic and International Studies, in collaboration with McAfee, launched their report today, in which they collate data from countries across the world in an effort to figure out quite how lucrative cybercrime is. (Hat tip to Net Security for bringing the findings to our attention.)

The $400 billion figure is a mid-point between their low estimate of $375 billion and high estimate of $575 billion in losses from cybercrimes, including the theft of personal information and intellectual property. In a live-streamed panel announcing the report, CSIS’s Stewart Baker and James Lewis admitted they could have overestimated, but felt they were more likely to have underestimated. 

And as Baker pointed out, with more businesses going online and a greater shift to mobile platforms and the Internet of Things (which has already become known as difficult to secure), the number is only likely to grow by next year. “All of those things create new opportunities for cybercrime, so it’s hard to believe there won’t be growth in those areas,” he said.

In fact, perhaps more interesting that the end number the researchers came up with is the difficulty they had in making any estimate at all. They put together a map of the cost of cybercrime for different countries around the world (presented here as percentage of GDP) but colour-coded it depending on how confident they were in the numbers. Only a handful of countries were marked highly on the confidence scale, with the majority—especially in Europe—on the low end.

For the rest of the story:

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