IP theft accounts to about one-fourth of the cost of cybercrime in 2017, says a recent report by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The annual cost of ‘cyber-crime-as-a-service’ has hit a whopping $600B worldwide, says a recent report by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The cost of global cyber attacks was $445B in 2014. The proliferation is primarily fuelled by the increasing sophistication of hackers and rapid rise in dark web marketplaces and cryptocurrencies, said the researchers. Digital crooks have started leveraging newer technologies to fuel the sharp rise in cybercrimes. Additionally, there has been a staggering increase in cybercrime centers across the world. Online markets are teeming with tools, exploit kits, as well as an accessible array of malware and botnet rentals. In other words, the technological accomplishments that have transformed the world for better have been distressingly misused to boost the criminal economy. “We are seeing the bad actor community taking advantage of the innovation in the technology industry,” said Steve Grobman, chief technology officer for McAfee, at a news conference in Washington.
Titled ‘Economic Impact of Cybercrime – No Slowing Down’, the report also states that increasing cyber-attacks cost a significant 0.8 percent of the global GDP. Here are more insights from this exhaustive and well-researched report:
Prime targets and active countries
While global banks and financial institutions are the prime targets, North Korea, Russia, and Iran are the countries where hacking keeps flourishing actively. China monopolizes in cyber espionage. Most of the major economies have faced substantial quantum of cyber-crime-related losses over the years, but the middle-income nations have dealt with the mammoth ones, mainly due to lack of flawless cyber security laws, methods, and tools.
Cyber crimes that happen frequently
One among the primary objectives of the report is to identify the data and businesses that are most vulnerable to malicious cyber attacks. Intellectual property theft accounts to nearly one-fourth of the cost of cybercrimes, says the researchers at McAfee and CSIS. It’s also posing a major threat to security of military technologies. With more than 6000 digital marketplaces, ransomware-as-a-service and related attacks too are growing at an uncontrollable pace. Cryptocurrencies also have been cited as a major risk factor, due to the anonymity that they offer. From theft of confidential business information to financial manipulation and reputation damage, the extent of cyber crimes is devastating and unfathomable.
The way forward
A globally accepted standardization of cyber threat data, along with better coordination of cyber security requirements and strategies, can help devise a feasible way to reduce cyber crimes, especially those which affect key areas like military security and finance. Development of advanced defensive technologies and standardized implementation of online security measures can slow down the extent and devastative effect of unforeseen cyber attacks. Nations across the world and international law enforcement agencies should work more diligently to bring digitals crooks before a court of law. Progress on Budapest Convention and related standards can go a long way towards reducing cyber crimes to a great extent.