Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Cybercrime Cuts Deep in Global Economy: Study

WASHINGTON – Cybercrime has grown into a global industry worth around half a trillion dollars, with no sign of slowing, a research report said Monday.

WASHINGTON – Cybercrime has grown into a global industry worth around half a trillion dollars, with no sign of slowing, a research report said Monday.

The report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies with security firm McAfee estimated the global economic cost of cyberattacks at $445 billion, account ting for the loss of 350,000 jobs in the United States and Europe.

“Cybercrime is a growth industry. The returns are great, and the risks are low,” the report said.

The study gave a range of $375 billion to $575 billion in losses, but the authors said even these figures were conservative in the face of limited data from many parts of the world.

“The costs of cybercrime is going to continue to go up, barring a miracle,” said Stewart Baker, a former Homeland Security official and co-author of the study.

James Lewis, a CSIS fellow and co-author, said the estimates are more conservative than some previous research pegging the cost at $1 trillion, but acknowledged difficulty in collecting data.

“Maybe half of the companies that get hacked don’t tell the local police,” Lewis said at a forum unveiling the study.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“Many governments don’t produce any data at all.” The authors said they believe their economic models produce a good estimate of economic losses but that some things are difficult to measure. Many of the losses stem from theft of secret business information, or other forms of intellectual property.

Lewis said that in some cases, “someone might steal a billion dollars worth of intellectual property but is only able to monetize 10 percent of that.”

Yet the report called cybercrime “a tax on innovation” because it reduces the return for new inventions or software, and may discourage some from investing or putting information online or in the cloud.

The researchers said cost of cybercrime also includes the impact of hundreds of millions of people having their personal information stolen — some 40 million people in the US last year, 54 million in Turkey, 20 million in South Korea, 16 million in Germany, and more than 20 million in China, according to the report.

“One estimate puts the total (number of victims) at more than 800 million individual records in 2013,” the report said.

“This alone could cost as much as $160 billion per year. Criminals still have difficulty turning stolen data into financial gain, but the constant stream of news contributes to a growing sense that cybercrime is out of control.”

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


The changing nature of what we still generally call ransomware will continue through 2023, driven by three primary conditions.


Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Group informed some customers last week that their online accounts had been breached by hackers.


As it evolves, web3 will contain and increase all the security issues of web2 – and perhaps add a few more.


A recently disclosed vBulletin vulnerability, which had a zero-day status for roughly two days last week, was exploited in a hacker attack targeting the...


Satellite TV giant Dish Network confirmed that a recent outage was the result of a cyberattack and admitted that data was stolen.


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Artificial Intelligence

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Artificial Intelligence

The degree of danger that may be introduced when adversaries start to use AI as an effective weapon of attack rather than a tool...