Cybercrime Costs India $ 4B Annually: Norton Symantec Study

8 Sep, 2011

Cybercrime leads to annual losses to the tune of around $ 4 billion or Rs 18,000 crore in direct financial losses and an additional $3.6 billion or Rs 16,200 crore in resolving the crime, affecting lives of more than 30 million in India, according to a study conducted by Symantec Corp, the maker of Norton computer security software.

However, cybercrime is a bigger menace in other emerging markets with annual direct losses in China pegged at around $25 billion and in Brazil at $15 billion.

"Over the past 12 months, three times as many adults surveyed have suffered from online crime versus offline crime, yet less than a third of respondents think they are more likely to become a victim of cybercrime than physical world crime in the next year," said Gaurav Kanwal, Country Sales Manager for India and SAARC, Consumer Business Unit, Symantec.

According to the report, the most common types of cybercrime are computer viruses and malware, followed by online scams and phishing. In India, four in five online adults have been a victim of cyber crime, the study added.

More than two third of online adults have been a victim of cybercrime in their lifetime. Every second 14 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than one million cybercrime victims every day.

The study also said that even as 74 per cent Indian users are always aware of cybercrime, many are not taking the necessary precautions. As much as 41 per cent indicate that they don't have an up to date security software suite to protect their personal information online and just about half of the respondents review credit card statements regularly for fraud and 61 per cent don't use complex passwords or change them regularly. Males between 18 and 31 years old are most likely to become victims of a cyber-attack on cell phones.

Globally, the most common – and most preventable – type of cybercrime is computer viruses and malware with 54 percent of respondents saying they have experienced it in their lifetime. Online scams and phishing messages are the second- and third-most-common online attacks (11 and 10 percent, respectively).

The survey was conducted in 24 countries found that globally more than 430 million users have been affected during the past one year with cybercrime causing loss of $ 114 billion, surpassing global black market in marijuana, cocaine and heroin.