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Cybercrime: what a pain in the wallet

By August 31, 2016Article

Cybercrime is growing so quickly the resulting damage estimates can barely keep up. The 2016 cybercrime report, published by Cybersecurity Ventures and titled “Hackerpocalypse: A Cybercrime Revelation,” shares the following cybercrime predictions from multiple sources over the past year and a half to date:

  • In early 2015, the British insurer Lloyd’s estimated cybercrime was costing businesses globally $400 billion annually — which included direct damage plus post-attack disruption to the normal course of business.
  • Juniper Research followed with a report in the Spring of 2015, which predicted that the rapid digitization of consumers’ lives and enterprise records would increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019.
  • At the beginning of this year, the Microsoft Secure Blog reported that The World Economic Forum estimated the economic cost of cybercrime to be $3 trillion worldwide. That was a sixfold jump in cybercrime damage estimates in just one year. 

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts cybercrime will continue rising and cost businesses globally more than $6 trillion annually by 2021. The estimate is based on historical cybercrime figures including recent year-over-year growth, a dramatic increase in hostile-nation-state-sponsored and organized crime gang hacking activities, a cyberattack surface that will be an order of magnitude greater than it is today and the cyber defenses expected to be pitted against hackers and cybercriminals over that time. 

What accounts for the sharp rise in cybercrime costs? The Cybersecurity Ventures report points to some eye-popping statistics that help answer the question including:

  • In four years from now, the world will need to cyber defend roughly 50 times more data than it does today.
  • Software developers will put out 111 billion new lines of code in the next year alone. Ninety percent of security incidents result from exploits against defects in software code.
  • The biggest expansion will be the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which Intel predicts will exceed 200 billion by 2020. Eighty-five percent of senior security pros believe that more than 50 percent of IoT products are insecure.
  • Worldwide spending on cybersecurity products and services to combat hackers and cyberattacks is expected to exceed $1 trillion cumulatively by 2021. 

What a pain in the wallet!  

Steve Morgan is founder and CEO at Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief of the Cybersecurity Market Report and the Cybersecurity 500 list of the world’s hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies. Follow Steve on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.











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