Global cyberattack costs to touch $1trn in 2020: McAfee Research

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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A recent research report published by a global IT security firm McAfee estimates that the impact of Cybercrime to cost the global economy more than $1 trillion this year, a rise of more than 50 percent since 2018. 

McAfee’s report was based on a survey conducted among 1,500 technology professionals from the government and business in the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Australia.

The McAfee report co-created with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) summarizes that online criminal activity has cost more than one percent of global economic output along with other significant non-monetary impacts.

The team of researchers behind the study remarked that there has been a considerable rise in the range of attacks including ransomware, phishing, business email takeovers, spyware and cryptocurrency theft.

The team attributes this rise of threats to weaker security measures implemented as more people work remotely outside their workplace.

McAfee’s Chief Technical Officer Steve Grobman observed that “The severity and frequency of cyberattacks on businesses continue to rise as techniques evolve, new technologies broaden the threat surface, and the nature of work expands into the home and remote environments.”

“While industry and government are aware of the financial and national security implications of cyberattacks, unplanned downtime, the cost of investigating breaches and disruption to productivity represent less appreciated high impact costs, the McAfee CTO added.

The adverse impact of cybercrime can include the loss of intellectual property and monetary assets, but also system downtime and damage to an organization’s reputation.

“It is no secret that cybercrime can harm public safety, undermine national security, and damage economies,” the report stated while adding that “what is less well known are the hidden costs that organizations may not be aware of, such as lost opportunities, wasted resources, and damaged staff morale.”

One of the major pain points referred to within the report that only 44 percent of the firms surveyed have plans in place to both prevent and respond to security incidents.