A 2015 survey indicates global cybercrime costs $315 billion a year.
Conducted by Grant Thornton International, the survey involved 2,500 businesses in 35 economies.
On its own, $315 billion is certainly a huge number. But it helps to compare it to global losses from other threats business have to contend with in order to put it into perspective.
Shrink: $128 billion in global losses in 2014. “Shrink“, a retail industry term, covers shoplifting, employee or vendor/supplier fraud and errors.
Disasters: $110 billion in global losses in 2014. According to Swiss Re, the total economic losses from natural and man-made catastrophes added up to $110B.
Combined, Shrink and Disasters cost $77 billion less than cybercrime alone.
The Grant Thornton study also has a great data point that serves to underscore the fact that many business owners still don’t fully appreciate the magnitude of the threat against their businesses: “On average, a successful online attack will cost around 1.2% of business revenues. Yet only 52% of those surveyed said they have a security strategy in place.”
So 48% of respondents had no security strategy in place.
The saying “you don’t have to be faster than the bear, you just have to be faster than the person next to you” comes to mind.
In the context of cyber security, what this means is that while there is nothing that can 100% guarantee prevention of any and all types of data breaches, there are steps that can be taken to make a business a very difficult and time consuming target. If it takes too much time and effort, often attackers will just move on to easier prey.
In this case the 48% fall into the “easier prey” category.
Which category is your business in?