McAfee report on the Global Cost of Cybercrime

Pierluigi Paganini June 10, 2014

McAfee firm has published a new study titled The Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime which provides an evaluation of costs for illicit activities.

McAfee issued a new report estimating the global cost of cybercrime, a lucrative industry that despite partial data could be costing the world economy as much as $575 billion annually.

The Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime report has been prepared using multiple sources, from government to academic organizations trying to evaluate the direct and indirect cost.

 “Cybercrime is a growth industry. The returns are great, and the risks are low. We estimate that the likely annual cost to the global economy from cybercrime is more than $400 billion.1 A conservative estimate would be $375 billion in losses, while the maximum could be as much as $575 billion.”

At current levels ranging between about 0.5% and 0.8% of global GDP a year, the losses caused by hacking activities falls between maritime piracy (0.02%) and counterfeiting (0.9%).
cybercrime Cost as percentage GDP
The experts have calculated the likely global cost by analyzing publicly available data from different countries, they collected information on IP theft, fraud and any other fraudulent campaign.
“The cost of cybercrime includes the effect of hundreds of millions of people having their personal information stolen—incidents in the last year include more than 40 million people in the US, 54 million in Turkey, 20 million in Korea, 16 million in Germany, and more than 20 million in China. One estimate puts the total at more than 800 million individual records in 2013″ states the report.
Evaluating the cost of cybercrime it is important to consider the important implication on the country GDP on its repercussion on population, for example in term of employment level. The UK, at 0.16%, had one of the lowest losses to illicit activities as a percentage of GDP, the most affected G20 nation is Germany (1.6%) while the US (0.64%) came just ahead of China (0.63%).
“GDP can affect employment. In the United States alone, studies of how employment varies with export growth suggest that the losses from cybercrime could cost as many as 200,000 American
jobs, roughly a third of 1% decrease in employment for the US.”
Richer countries in Asia, Europe and North America are privileged targets and provide a greater return on investment for the bad actors, consider that estimated lost for G20 countries is $200bn to cybercrime.
What to expect for the future?
Despite the great efforts of intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies, the situation is likely to worsen, cybercrime is becoming more aggressive and is riding the popularity of new paradigms such as the IoT still immature in terms of information security.
“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. Losses from the theft of intellectual property will also increase as acquiring countries improve their ability to make use of it to manufacture competing goods”

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  Cybercrime, fraud) 

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