Wednesday 17 March 2021

Cybercrime to cost over $10 Trillion by 2025

Cyber attacks are a threat to businesses of all sizes and in all industries. With cybercrime rising by 600% during the pandemic, businesses are more vulnerable than ever to the financial and reputational repercussions of cyberattacks. This makes it even more important for businesses and organizations to make cybersecurity a priority.

Costs of Cybercrime
Global cybercrime costs are on the rise, increasing 15 per cent year over year, according to a 2021 cyberwarfare report by CyberSecurity Ventures. By 2025, it is estimated that cybercrime will cost businesses worldwide $10.5 trillion annually.

With the global cost of cybercrime at $3 trillion in 2015, that’s more than a threefold increase over a decade. This represents the “greatest transfer of economic wealth in history,” stated the report.

To put this into perspective, if the total of $6 trillion in cybercrime losses in 2021 were measured as if it were a country, this would be the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China.
The consequences of cybercrime extend beyond financial repercussions. According to the report, businesses may also suffer from:
  • Loss of data
  • Theft of intellectual property
  • Theft of financial or personal information
  • Reputational harm
  • Lost productivity
As cyber-attacks become more frequent and advanced, businesses need to be prepared to respond to incidents.

Ransomware as a Threat
Cybersecurity Venture’s report also highlighted ransomware as a major threat. A ransomware attack occurs when malicious software infects computers and restricts their access to files until a ransom is paid.

It’s estimated that global ransomware damage costs will reach $20 billion in 2021, 57 times the amount in 2015. The report also predicted that a ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds in 2021, up from every 40 seconds in 2016.
Since the healthcare industry is one of the industries most susceptible to cyber attacks, the FBI is especially concerned with the impact of ransomware on healthcare providers, hospitals, and first responders, as it poses a threat to the safety of American citizens.

Mark Montgomery, executive director of the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission, identifies ransomware as the fastest growing and one of the most damaging types of cybercrime. For this reason, business leaders need to prioritize cybersecurity measures in order to protect their data and their company.

Cybersecurity Best Practices
With increasing cyber threats, especially due to the rise in remote work, businesses need to be as prepared as possible to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks. Here are some cybersecurity best practices that your company should follow to strengthen security and prevent cyber attacks.
  1. Minimize data transfers. In a corporate setting, it’s nearly impossible to prevent the transfer of data between devices. Be mindful of how many devices contain important data and try to make transfers as minimally as possible, especially when it comes to sensitive data.
  2. Verify download sources. Before making any downloads, scan the website you’re downloading from to ensure that it’s verified, and only click on legitimate download links.
  3. Update software regularly. Software developers are continuously updating their applications with the best available security measures, so updating your programs and devices whenever possible is a great way to protect against cyber attacks.
  4. Encrypt where possible. Encryption tools can be used to protect data from outsiders. When encryption isn’t possible, password protection is a great alternative. Be sure to choose complex passwords with a mix of letters, numbers, and characters, and to change your passwords regularly.
  5. Monitor data. Data breach monitoring tools will alert you when there is suspicious activity regarding your data. These tools will help you prevent data theft in real-time.
  6. Have a breach response plan. Breaches can happen to even the most prepared businesses. When they do, having a codified, organization-wide plan can help prevent further damage and speed up recovery efforts.
Rather than waiting to respond to cyber incidents, be proactive by bolstering your security measures to reduce the risks and consequences of cyberattacks. To learn more about cybercrime trends and different types of cyberattacks, check out Embroker’s post on cyber attack statistics for 2021.

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