As far as crimes go, cybercrime is not the most costly or expensive. Other crimes, such as government corruption and narcotics trafficking hold that honor. But, when you look at how much these criminals are pulling in, cybercrime is ranked as third.

When we look at those affected, however, cybercrime is the leader, and hundreds of millions of people are considered victims of these crimes. In fact, about two-thirds of all people, or about two billion, have had their personal info compromised or stolen online. One survey actually reported that 64 percent of people in the US lost their personal information to hackers or had fraudulent charges appear on their accounts. Cybercrime can affect anyone.

In 2004, it was estimated that the worldwide cybersecurity market – companies that solve the cybercrime problem – had a worth of about $3.5 billion, but by 2017, it was worth more than $120 billion. This means that the market grew by about 35 times in just 13 years. Spending across the globe on security was more than $114 billion last year, which was an increase of just over 12 percent from the amount in 2017. This year, it is expected to grow to about $124 billion, and in 2022, to about $170 billion.

In 2014, it was estimated that cybercrimes had cost about $500 billion around the world, which is about 0.7 percent of the world’s collective income. This is actually more than the total income of some particular countries. This makes cybercrime a very lucrative industry to get into…assuming you don’t mind breaking the law.

Current estimates show that cybercrimes now cost the world about $600 billion, which is 0.8% of the world’s gross domestic product. The reasons for this include:

  • Fast adoption by cybercriminals of new technology.
  • More people online than ever before.
  • The ease of committing these crimes.
  • More cybercrime “centers,” which include India, Vietnam, Brazil, and North Korea.
  • Better financial knowledge from cybercriminals, which makes it easier to make money.
  • Stolen credit card numbers are PII, or personally identifiable information, are often found for sale on the dark web and on other black markets.
  • The monetization of stolen data, which has always been problematic for these criminals, is also becoming less difficult thanks to improvements in cybercrime circles and the increased use of digital currency.
  • Transfers of financial theft is designed to confuse and disguise the process, making it much easier to do.
  • Cyber criminals either use or sell intellectual property.
  • Ransomware payments are much easier than ever before, thanks to digital currency. It is also more difficult to trace.
  • The greater ease of monetization.
  • The amount of malicious activity online is growing quickly. One ISP reported that it has seen about 80 billion malicious scans each day, and this is due to the automation that cybercriminals are using to find their targets.
  • New malware is released all of the time, and up to a million are created each day. Most of these are automated scripts that work to search the web for vulnerable networks and devices.
  • Phishing is the easiest and most popular way to commit cybercrime.
  • There were more than a million cyberattacks in 2016, and many of them were due to ransomware.
  • There were approximately 4,000 ransomware attacks each and every day.
  • Approximately 4.8 billion records were lost due to data breaches, and hacking was responsible for more than half of these.
  • With cybercrime on the rise and no apparent end in sight, the demand for services and products to stop this are in demand. So, too, are businesses and individuals who have knowledge of how to stop these crimes in their tracks.
Author Portrait
ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling author, CEO of Safr.Me, and the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity Protection security awareness training program.