The global cost of cybercrime in 2022 was $8.44 TRILLION! That cost is only expected to rise, reaching $10.5 trillion by 2025. Studies predict that the costs will skyrocket because cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated, and more information than ever is stored online.
What is cybercrime?
Cybercrime refers to criminal activities like hacking, phishing, identity theft, and the spread of malware or viruses. Cybercriminals use these tactics to steal private data. That might be financial information, private company data, or personal data. The goal is typically either to profit or to cause physical or reputational damage to organizations and their networks (or all of these).
Cybercrime is a growing problem since more of our personal and professional lives happen online.
Why is the cost of cybercrime so high?
A major factor driving the rise of cybercrime is the increasing interconnectedness of devices and systems. This has created what’s called a larger “attack surface” for cybercriminals to exploit. Once they get into a system, they can move into different parts of a network and gain access to everything from customer information to intellectual property.
Another factor contributing to the rise of cybercrime is the growing use of cryptocurrencies. When criminals demand ransoms in crypto, it’s easier for them to launder and stay anonymous.
The cost of cybercrime is not just financial. Cyberattacks can also result in lost productivity and legal and regulatory costs.
Responding to the next-gen crime wave
To combat the growing threat of cybercrime, organizations continue to invest in security measures like firewalls, encryption, and employee training programs. That last piece of the puzzle may actually be the most important since a lot of cybercrime starts with one employee accidentally or intentionally giving up security credentials.
That’s because cybercriminals use social engineering tactics, like phishing emails, to trick employees into divulging sensitive information or clicking on links that install malware on their devices. If an employee isn’t trained in cybersecurity best practices, they’re far more likely to fall for these schemes. And the result is putting their organization’s data and systems at risk.
Employees also unintentionally compromise security through simple mistakes. These include seemingly innocent things like using weak passwords, leaving their devices unlocked or unattended, or failing to install security updates.
Source: “Cybercrime Expected To Skyrocket in Coming Years” — Statista