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Cybercrime has cost us over $1 trillion globally

Cybercrime
(Image credit: Future)

The latest research from cybersecurity firm McAfee has outlined just how financially damaging cybercrime has been globally. 

The company's The Hidden Costs of Cybercrime report found that cybercrime has cost the world economy $1 trillion since 2018, equivalent to just over 1% of global GDP.

Although the monetary impact is alarming, the report also details some of the damage caused by cybercrime that gets missed when businesses and governments focus on the financial headlines. According to an accompanying survey, 92% of companies felt effects beyond monetary losses when hit by a cyberattack.

Some of the hidden costs outlined in the McAfee report include system downtime, reduced efficiency, and incidence response costs. In addition, brand and reputational damage can have long-lasting impacts for many firms, with some having to hire outside consultancies or new employees in order to move on from a cybercrime incident.

Shoring up defenses

Although major cybercrimes create global headlines, many organizations remain unprepared should they find themselves victims of similar incidents. According to McAfee's report, 56% of the organizations surveyed said they do not have a plan to both prevent and respond to a cyber-incident. 

“Our report findings show just how important it is for businesses to shore up their defenses against cyberattacks,” Adam Philpott, EMEA President at McAfee, commented. “The costs aren’t just the result of monetary losses, but also include significant reductions in both productivity and lost work hours. When businesses fail to maintain and evolve their cyber defenses, it is now the difference between their ability to thrive or just survive within the market. To keep cyber attackers at bay, especially as their tactics evolve to become even more sophisticated, businesses must go beyond establishing baseline protocols to create and maintain a secure environment.”

Some methods that businesses can employ to safeguard against cyberattacks include uniform implementation of basic security measures, cybersecurity training for employees, and improved transparency.