McAfee Research Reveals That Cybercrime Takes An Almost $600billion Toll On The Global Economy

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McAfee, in partnership with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), today announces that cybercrime costs the world close to $600 billion – a $150 billion increase since 2014. 

 The research has also found the following below key findings

  • Nation states are the most dangerous source of cybercrime, with Russia ranking No. 1 and North Korea No. 2. China is the most active player in cyber espionage.
  • Banks are the favourite targets of cybercriminals, even though financial institutions spend three times what other companies spend on cybersecurity.
  • Ransomware is the fastest growing type of cybercrime, aided by cybercrime-as-a-service, which is also flourishing
  • Cryptocurrencies are enabling cybercrime by allowing criminals to hide their identity while paying for services
  • Since 2014, nearly three billioninternet credentials and other personally identifiable information (PII) have been stolen by hackers
  • Two-thirds of people online– more than two billion individuals – have had their personal information stolen or compromised

Security experts from McAfee also commented below.

Raj Samani, Chief Scientist and Fellow at McAfee:

raj_samani“As a society, we put cyber in front of everything – cyberbully, cybersecurity, cybercrime…. This encourages employees to assume it’s a different field – outside of their control or a risk that can’t reach them. But it is crime, full stop. And as revealed by our latest research, it has a huge financial impact on both businesses and the wider economy. This trend is likely to continue with the cybercrime as-a-service economy offering less technical individuals the opportunity to participate and quickly profit from lucrative attacks.

“Businesses often struggle to remain vigilant against threats because they have too many tools operating in silo at once – and failing to communicate with each other.  By making sure that tools can work together and removing siloed security teams, organisations can find the right combination of people, process and technology to effectively protect data, detect threats and, when targeted, rapidly correct systems. This will be key to keeping pace with criminals’ rapid adoption of new technologies, an expanding number of cybercrime “centres” and the growth of cybercrime-as-a-service.”

Nigel Hawthorn, Data Privacy Expert at Skyhigh Networks at McAfee’s Cloud Business Unit:

“This growth in cybercrime has largely been driven by cybercriminals’ adoption of new technologies, and there is now something of an arms race as businesses struggle to stay ahead. Cloud computing, AI and Software-as-a-Service technologies are being utilised on both sides. Despite security departments using these technologies to implement measures to prevent a cyberattack, many of their end-users fail to take even the most basic protective measures.

“Cloud services offer flexibility, scalability, improved productivity and – when correctly managed – greater security. Yet, as more companies take advantage of cloud technology to cut costs and increase agility, cloud services – and the sensitive data they store – have become popular targets for cybercriminals. The theft of intellectual property and business confidential information is a major factor when calculating the cost of cybercrime. If intellectual property such as product design is stolen, it can be a fatal experience for both SMEs and enterprises. Annual losses from cybercrime targeting IP are now estimated to be $50 billion to $60 billion globally.

“Uniform implementation of basic security measures and investments in defensive technologies – from device to cloud – remain crucial. It is increasingly important that organisations embrace the cloud securely to accelerate their business. Protection against most cybercrimes does not require the most sophisticated defenses, just complete control and real-time visibility over data and user activity in the cloud.”