Security breaches can have devastating effects for businesses all around the world and can ruin the reputation of businesses and government departments alike. A new McAfee-backed report has offered up a whole new insight into the effect of cybercrime on the world’s economies, in an attempt to outline the true costs of criminal activity taking place online. Working alongside the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), McAfee produced a report entitled “Estimating the Cost of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage”, which revealed that cybercrime costs the US economy as much as $500 billion a year, as well as around 508,000 jobs.
A New Model
Whilst many similar reports have been produced before Mike Fey, McAfee’s executive vice president and chief technology officer claimed that this report was the first of its type to utilise actual economic modelling to achieve these figures. It’s said that the accuracy apparently provided by the report was vital to ensure that the decision-making of some of world’s most influential politicians, businesspeople and other figures was as appropriate and as effective as possible. It has also been said that the model used to come up with the findings was so important due to the way that attempts at estimation can be inefficient, which is why analogies for tangible crime such as drugs, piracy and car crashes were used when creating the model.
Cybercrime was divided into six key areas including the loss of intellectual property and sensitive business information, cybercrime, opportunity costs, additional security costs and the damage of reputations. It is hoped that the findings will lead to businesses and organisations taking further steps to make their cyber infrastructure as robust as possible, whilst maintaining the utmost levels of vigilance. It’s said that hackers often lurk around networks for years collecting intellectual property before they are noticed, with obvious consequences for companies and the authorities.