Cybercrime may cost the world $1 trillion in 2020: McAfee

Cybercrime may cost the world $1 trillion in 2020: McAfee
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7 Dec, 2020

Cybercrime is expected to contribute over $1 trillion to global GDP loss, a significant increase from $600 billion in 2018, according to a study. The numbers for 2019 were not specified.

In a report, San Jose, California-based global cybersecurity solutions provider McAfee said that 92% of the companies surveyed said the damage was not limited to financial losses.

“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,” Steve Grobman, senior vice president and CTO at McAfee, said.

Watch: McAfee India MD Venkat Krishnapur on the changing cybersecurity threat landscape

The security attacks also had a considerable impact on company performance, the report, titled The Hidden Costs of Cybercrime, said.

In fact, 33% of the survey respondents said that IT security incidents that resulted in system downtime cost them between $1 million and $5 million to rectify. Additionally, organisations lost on an average of nine hours a week due to the system downtime, while the estimated time taken to move from incident to remediation was 19 hours.

An unexpected but significant impact of a cyberattack on a company, the report said, was rehabilitating the external image of its brand -- 26% of the respondents said that their brand value had taken a hit due to cyberattack-induced downtime.

The cost of rehabilitation also includes working with outside consultancies to mitigate brand damage and hiring new employees to prevent future incidents, the report said.

A better understanding of the impact of cyber risk, and effective plans to respond and prevent cyber incidents are necessary, CTO Grobman said.

At 56%, more than half of the companies surveyed did not possess a plan for cyber threat prevention. However, only 32% of the 951 companies that did have a planned response in place said their responses were effective.

Read: External attacks on cloud accounts surge 630% between Jan and April: McAfee

The study was published in partnership with Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and commissioned to independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne.

Over 15,000 IT decision makers from all sectors, barring construction and property, were interviewed between April and June 2020 for the report. About 300 of the companies surveyed were based in the US, while 200 each were chosen from Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia and Japan.