Today cybercrime is a big business, with the term ‘crime wave’ proving to be an understatement considering the costs to businesses. It is reported that in the recent years, US firms have lost millions of dollars to cybercrime.
As per a study conducted by the British insurance company Lloyds in 2015, businesses incur huge losses of $400 billion annually. This included both direct damage and post-attack damages. The cybercrime cost has multiplied since 2013 with about 40 million people in the US, which is roughly 15% of the population, having encountered personal information theft incidents.
Many large banks, federal agencies and retailers that fall victim to cybercrime often appear in news headlines. However, it must be noted that all businesses are at risk. According to a study conducted by Microsoft, over 20% of small to mid-sized businesses have also been the vulnerable targets of cybercrime.
In fact, research conducted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies highlighted that as more companies and organizations across the world connect to the internet, the rate of cybercrime is more likely to increase. The study also revealed that cybercrime does have serious repercussions on innovation as it hinders growth and slows the pace of global innovation. According to this study, governments must make serious and systematic efforts, as well as publishing factual data on cybercrime in order to help companies and countries amend their risk policy.
Besides incurring costs, a company that is victimized by cybercrime also suffers the consequences of:
• The loss of intellectual property
• The cost of recovering from cyber attacks
• The theft of financial assets and sensitive business information
• The reputational damage
Cyber security professionals believe that profitable business models are the most susceptible to cyber attacks. The cybercriminals use hundreds and thousands of PCs in dozens of countries, making it impossible for security professionals to trace the origin of attacks. As a result, it becomes easier for the attackers to evade security controls. Simply put, most attacks through the internet are anonymous and untraceable.
The cost of cybercrime can be prevented by keeping security intelligence systems in place. Companies with security intelligence systems have made average cost savings of $1.9 million compared to companies that have not deployed any security technology. These security intelligence systems are designed to detect cyber attacks and protect the company from incurring huge losses.