The Global Cost of Cybercrime: On the Rise

CybersecurityTogether, McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) published the report, “Net Loss: Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime.” This is a global estimate of cybercrime that follows from previous research conducted by CSIS on the cybercrime in the United States.

This study focuses on the costs of cybercrime, using sophisticated econometrics and statistical analysis and highlights the effect it has on policy makers.  The report states that the estimated “annual cost to the global economy from cybercrime is more than $400 billion.  A conservative estimate would be $375 billion in losses, while the maximum could be as much as $575 billion annually.”

One significant problem with this study is the lack of data and inaccurate data from governments around the world. Therefore, the overall cost estimates are probably on the lower end because many governments underestimate the amount of cybercrime.  One possible reason for this is that victims often don’t report or even recognize their losses. Many losses are intangible and a price cannot be placed on them.

A key finding of this report is that the cost of cybercrime will continue to increase as more business functions move online and as more companies and consumers around the world connect to the Internet.

Therefore, in order to protect nations from the rise of cybercrime, Governments need to begin serious, systematic efforts to collect and publish data on cybercrime to help countries and companies make better choices about risk and policy.

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