A new report has revealed that cybercrime costs £226 billion every year. To put this in perspective, this is nearly as much as global drugs trade.
Computer security software firm McAfee have claimed that cybercrime is now worth an estimated 0.8% of the global economy.
Raj Samani, chief technical officer of McAfee EMEA stated, “In the past, studies such as this have relied on surveys. We commissioned a think-tank to work with economists and intellectual property lawyers, as well as the security industry, to understand the true impact of cybercrime.”
The UK didn’t rank particularly favourably in the report as it was ranked 5th in the G20 countries that are most affected by cybercrime, with an annual loss of £6.8 billion.
It was also estimated that cybercrime leads to around 150,000 job losses in Europe each year.
Cybercriminals are developing more sophisticated attacks as each month passes due to the potential financial rewards. They have taken advantage of companies taking a very relaxed attitude towards data security who persist on using outdated and unsuitable security programs.
Mark Sparshott, EMEA director of security firm Proofpoint stated, “The volumes of attacks are increasing because it is a profitable business model for organised crime. With cybercrime there is no risky getaway because the attack is routed through hundreds or thousands of PCs in dozens of countries, making it almost impossible to trace. The internet makes most attacks anonymous and untraceable and that is really attractive to cybercriminals.”
Cybercrime has had an unprecedented impact on companies which has resulted in some companies ceasing to exist. It has also cost companies hundreds and thousands of pounds due to data loss and reputational damage.
In one case, a British company revealed that it had incurred revenue losses of £770 million because of one cyber-attack due to the loss of intellectual property.
It is now critical that all companies ensure that they have the best security plan in place and regularly test it to help protect themselves against the threat of cyber hackers and cyber thieves. This should be supported with a robust backup solution to ensure that data can always be recovered no matter what action a hacker or cyber thieves takes such as modifying or deleting the data.