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Cost of cybercrime to exceed $1trn in 2020

Cost of cybercrime to exceed $1trn in 2020

The worldwide move to remote home working has contributed to a massive rise in cybercrime costs which are expected to top $1trn for the very first time this year.

A report from cyber security firm McAfee, along with the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that the cost of cybercrime will increase by 50% from the 2018 total and will account for more than 1% of global GDP.

Researchers noted a surge in both the number and types of attacks, ranging from phishing and denial of service attacks to ramsomware, spyware and cryptocurrency theft.

Weakened security as a result of the move to home or remote working was also cited as a contributing factor. 

"The severity and frequency of cyberattacks on businesses continues to rise as techniques evolve, new technologies broaden the threat surface, and the nature of work expands into home and remote environments," said Steve Grobman, chief technical officer at McAfee.

"While industry and government are aware of the financial and national security implications of cyberattacks, unplanned downtime, the cost of investigating breaches and disruption to productivity represent less appreciated high impact costs."

Some of the less appreciated costs cited in the report include "lost opportunities, wasted resources and damaged staff morale".

The report, which canvassed 1,500 tech professionals in government and business in the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Australia, worryingly found that only 44% of respondents have plans to either prevent or respond to cyber incidents. 

The financial services sector is generally subject to stricter cybersecurity requirements, however cyber risk still remains a concern for the industry, especially within emerging economies. 

A recently published report from the International Monetary Fund stated that cyber risk is the "new threat to financial stability"and called for help to develop cybersecurity capacity in low-oncome countries.

"The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the decisive role that connectivity plays in the developing world. As with any virus, the proliferation of cyber threats in any given country makes the rest of the world less safe," stated the report. 

"Addressing all these gaps will require a collaborative effort from standard-setting bodies, national regulators, supervisors, industry associations, private sector, law enforcement, international organizations, and other capacity development providers and donors," added the report.

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