As we draw closer to the halfway point of 2018, a clear and alarming picture of cybercrime and its' true annual cost is emerging. With spending exponentially rising on both prevention and damage, the wake-up call that came from the IBM Chairman, Rometty back in 2015, that 'cyber-crime was the greatest threat to every company in the world' is simply becoming more of a reality, year by year.
Cyber-attacks, a completely human problem has overtaken nuclear weapons as the number one issue for mankind (according to Warren Buffet).
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This is purely a dollars and cents calculation. Two years ago, cyber-crime damages cost $3 trillion, the cyber security experts are predicting by 2021 it will be up to $6 trillion.
Sounds preposterous, yet with dramatic transfers of cash which are the largest in history and more profitable than the global drugs trade, the financial facts are alarming.
So, what are the monetary facts about the cost of cyber-crime?
Spending on Cybersecurity will be more than $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021. Infosec spending peaked at $86.4 billion last year. This figure only covered the prevention and unauthorized access of hackers, there are still areas, such as IoT, amongst others, to factor into the budget.
There is a hacker attack every 39 seconds and Ransomware costs are over $5billion. Apart from the recent 2017 high-profile attacks on Nationwide healthcare and Equifax, 43% of cyber-attacks are actually directed as small businesses with 64% of companies have experienced direct web-based attacks.
Compare this with the fact that only 38% of global companies say that are prepared to tackle sophisticated hacks and we begin to recognize the scale of the problem. Cybersecurity Ventures unsurprisingly predict that damage costs of ransomware will rise to $11.5 billion by next year.
3. The workforce shortage related to cyber-crime will reach 3.5 million by 2021. For every IT job, cybersecurity is now a key element. Businesses demand that their IT departments be able to prevent and intercept incoming threats.
Unlike other industries, the level of unemployment in cybersecurity are decreasing at a dramatic rate. Although the national pocket is being strained by crime, the increased opportunity for job creation could provide a small counter-measure to the losses.
4. The numbers of potential cyber-crime victims will undoubtably rise. In 2017 there were 3.8 billion internet users and as the global need for the internet grows and a potential 6 billion internet users by 2022, the targets for hackers proliferates.
The biggest threat to our current level of cyber safety is our inability to prevent the attacks before they have started. Spending on cyber safety must increase momentously and move at lightening speed to even mediate the damage.
By 2020 there will be roughly 200 billion connected devices and 2.5 connected devices for every 10 US citizens. This opens the gateway for cyber-attacks into every area of our lives, from our home security to our cell phones, our digitalized world is a costly and vulnerable one.
With a rapidly expanding cyber world, we need to arm ourselves with the training, knowledge and solutions to face these issues head on.