Hacker at computer

Cost of cybercrime to top $2tr by 2019

Image: Stockfresh

13 May 2015

New research from Juniper Research has said that the annual cost of cybercrime could reach $2.1 trillion (€1.87 trillion) globally by 2019, an almost fourfold increase over the estimated cost of breaches in 2015.

The report, entitled “The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Financial and Corporate Threats & Mitigation,” argues that the rapid digitisation of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches, with the majority of breaches expected to come from existing IT and network infrastructure. The report says that while new threats targeting mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being reported at an increasing rate, the number of infected devices is minimal in comparison to more traditional computing devices.

The report also notes the professionalisation of cybercrime, with the emergence of a wide array cybercrime products, such as DDoS and root kits. More notably, the report found that there has been a marked decline in casual activist hacks, and that hacktivism has become more successful but less prolific. Juniper Research said that in the future, hacktivism will be characterised by fewer attacks overall, but more successful ones.

“Currently, we aren’t seeing much dangerous mobile or IoT malware because it’s not profitable,” said James Moar, the report author. “The kind of threats we will see on these devices will be either ransomware, with consumers’ devices locked down until they pay the hackers to use their devices, or as part of botnets, where processing power is harnessed as part of a more lucrative hack. With the absence of a direct pay-out from IoT hacks, there is little motive for criminals to develop the required tools.”

According to the report, nearly two thirds (60%) of anticipated data breaches worldwide in 2015 will occur in North America, but this proportion will decrease over time as other countries “become both richer and more digitised”.

The report estimated that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 will exceed $150 million (€133 million), as more business infrastructure gets connected.


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