McAfee: Cybercrime costs the global economy $600bn annually

By Jonathan Dyble
McAfee, in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has conducted a study revealing that cybercime costs $600bn to th...

McAfee, in partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has conducted a study revealing that cybercime costs $600bn to the businesses annually, equating to 0.8% of global GDP.

This is up from the $445bn in global losses that were recorded in 2014, highlighting the growing threat of cybercrime to businesses.

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McAfee attributes this growth to the increasing sophistication of attacks, with cyber criminals continuing to adopt new technologies that are able to overcome traditional and stagnant cybersecurity frameworks.

“The digital world has transformed almost every aspect of our lives, including risk and crime, so that crime is more efficient, less risky, more profitable and has never been easier to execute,” said Steve Grobman, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for McAfee. 

In terms of region, Russia, North Korea, Iran and China are the most active in cybercrime, largely targeting financial institutions with their hacks.

As expected, the report shows that cybercrime losses are greater in richer countries, whilst countries with a greater loss proportionally as a percentage of national income are countries that are increasingly digitising but have not yet established the capabilities to offer adequate cybersecurity defences.

“Cyber-attacks, without doubt, represent one of the most critical threats to businesses today,” said Bryan Campbell, Senior Security Researcher at Fujitsu UK & Ireland.

“As we have seen in the past year, cyber-attacks can set out to completely paralyse organisations at a national and international scale, creating havoc, and resulting in a complete shutdown of services. Organisations need to continue to invest in technical and security controls, whilst doing more to proactively identify and manage threats instead of waiting for breaches to happen.”

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