You might find this notion somewhat farfetched, but cybercrime is one of the biggest threats to mankind. As you speak, computers are being hacked, data is being stolen and individuals are being hijacked by ransomware. At the end of 2016, a business fell victim to a ransomware attack every 19 seconds! So, there is a war to be won here. Stop wars? Definitely. Stops wars on cybercrime? Never.
A conservative estimate is that cybercrime will cost the world in excess of £4 trillion in 2021. In 2015, the cost was around £2.2 trillion. This increase represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history – better than any corporate merger, more profitable than the combines global trade of illicit drug endeavours, and an amount equivalent to £1 trillion more than the current GDP of the UK.
Cybercrime includes all these costs: theft and destruction of data, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, disruption to business, fraud and embezzlement, compromised IoT devices and a fractured brand reputation. All in all, not good news!
In the United States. Cybercrime is by far the fastest-growing crime. The 2013 Yahoo hack impacted 3 billion user accounts. More than 145 million customers were affected by the Equifax attack in the same year, and this is not to mention the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks across the globe in the same year.
In 1991 there was 1 website. In 2014 there were 14 billion. The number of live websites in January 2020 exceeds 1,772,795,000 – and increasing every second. In 2015 there were 2 billion internet users, now there are more than 4 billion. And everything is connected via the internet – people, places and things. The problem is that the rate of internet connection is outpacing our ability to secure it.
Cybercrime is very much like street crime. As the population grows, so do they. More website and more data mean more human and digital vulnerabilities. Digital growth is unprecedented. Microsoft reports that online data volumes this year will be 50 times bigger than they were in 2016.
So, what is being done about this terrible state of affairs? Engineers and businesses across the globe are working day and night on new solutions to combat hacking and cybercrime. Cutting edge products and innovative new services are been created all the time. Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) are taking on new responsibilities to help safeguard their clients against the pitfalls of hacking.
There is a cybercrime epidemic but hopefully, technology will soon make our online world a much safer place to operate in. Remember that the IoT world will explode to a phenomenal 200 billion objects this year. That figure shows just how vulnerable we all are.
Roger Grimes, an expert security architect who spent 11 years at Microsoft says:
“Every company will be hacked.”
Let’s hope and pray that his words never come true. Stop wars? Definitely. Stops wars on cybercrime? Never.