Global Cybercrime Costs Will Top $6 Trillion in 5 Years

A recent report published by Cybersecurity Ventures suggests global cybercrime costs will double over the next five years. Global cybercrime costs in 2015 are estimated to have reached $3 trillion. The damage inflicted by cybercriminals has been predicted to top $6 trillion by 2021.

The managed security services provider (MSSP) and advisory firm calculated the damages from theft of intellectual property and data, financial fraud, embezzlement, post-attack disruption to business processes, in addition to the cost to businesses of resolving data breaches, limiting reputational harm, conducting forensic investigations, and restoring normal business processes.

A massive hike in global cybercrime costs can be expected. Even over the course of the last 12 months the potential attack surface has grown considerably as more Internet-connected devices have been added to corporate networks.

Even today, attacks can come from all angles. Security professionals are particularly concerned about the number of IoT devices that are likely to come to market over the next 12 months. As we have already seen over the past few months, many of these devices have relatively weak defenses. Huge numbers of devices have already been added to massive botnets such as Mirai. In less than 12 months the size of the largest DDoS attacks has almost tripled.

The United States has declared a national emergency due to the severe cybersecurity threat and attacks are now occurring on a scale never before seen. It is no longer only computers and servers that are being attacked. Hackers are targeting medical devices, power grids, cars, planes and just about any electronic device.

Cybersecurity Ventures also points out that there is still no effective law enforcement agency that is properly prepared to deal with the current threat level. The report highlights the severe shortage of cybersecurity personnel with around 1 million jobs currently unfilled due to a lack of skilled staff. Companies are already struggling – and failing – to protect their networks from attack and face severe budgetary constraints. As the attack surface grows, budgets are likely to become even more strained.

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts cybersecurity spending will increase from $75 billion in 2015 to $1 trillion by 2021 to combat the ever increasing threat, although this figure seems to be very conservative given the number of devices expected to be Internet-enabled in the next five years.

Spanish telecoms company Telefonica predicted last year that 90% of cars will be connected to the Internet by 2020, while IDC predicted the number of wearable devices will have increased to 173 million in the next two years. There are also likely to be at least 200 billion IoT devices in use by 2020.

Microsoft has released figures to suggest that data volumes will have grown fifty-fold in the next four years and with 111 billion lines of software code now being written each year, the number of vulnerabilities that could potentially be exploited will grow at an extraordinary rate. Combating the threat is likely to prove increasingly difficult and even Cybersecurity Ventures estimates may even seem ultra-conservative before 2017 is out.

Author: Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of