Cybercrime could cost $400 billion per year

Hackers get faster, sneakier and more creative, CNN Money wrote after internet security teams from Symantec and Verizon released alarming new reports warning that nearly 1 million new malware threats are being released every day. According to Zurich Insurance Group, the average data breach costs $3.79 million, which means it has more than doubled for some industries in two years. The double trend of rising costs and attacks has become “a fast-emerging risk for companies,” according to a report from the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) rating agency, and today’s “cybercrime costs the global economy upward of $400 billion a year.”

From education to healthcare, media or banking, the quick development of cybercrime has not limited itself to any particular sector. In fact any computer that stores personal data is potentially a valuable target because the data can help the cybercriminal to make a profit. Directly by using bank account information, or indirectly by ‘re-composing’ the identity of the target and then using it to get easier access to money or something valuable like using the target identity as a front identity with a view to committing a fraud.

That’s why the banking and healthcare sectors have drawn most of the cybercriminals’ interest in recent years. The consequences can reach far beyond the loss of financial assets or intellectual property, indeed “damage to brand and reputation (…) is perceived as a critical risk to firms,” underlined a report jointly published in May 2014 by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and PWC. Approximately 79% of the banking sector’s institutions surveyed by the New York State Department of Financial Services reported that information security budgets were therefore expected to increase in the next three years. One year later, the figure has likely jumped to around 90%.