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Cyber crime has significant impact on global economy: McAfee

Cyber crime has significant impact on global economy: McAfee 

The findings were detailed in a McAfee-sponsored report, which also found that the impact goes beyond just economics: over 200,000 jobs are lost in the United States each year, and over 150,000 in Europe, as a direct result of cyber crime.

It also suggests that cyber crime extracts between 15 and 20 per cent of the value generated by the Internet, an economy that is estimated to generate up to $3 trillion each year.

“Cybercrime is a tax on innovation and slows the pace of global innovation by reducing the rate of return to innovators and investors,” said Jim Lewis, senior fellow and director, Strategic Technologies Program, CSIS, in a release. “For developed countries, cybercrime has serious implications for employment. The effect of cybercrime is to shift employment away from jobs that create the most value. Even small changes in GDP can affect employment.”

Retailers were the top target for hackers, according to the study, with retailers in the U.K. alone losing more than $850 million to cyber criminals in 2013.

A significant portion of the losses can be attributed to clean-up costs after the breach. The report found that “while criminals will not be able to monetize all the information they steal, their victims must spend significant resources as if they could.” The report’s authors point to Italy as an example: its actual hacking losses only totaled $875 million, but the cost of recovery was was $8.5 billion.

“It’s clear that there’s a real tangible economic impact associated with stopping cybercrime,” said Scott Montgomery, CTO, public sector, McAfee. “Over the years, cybercrime has become a growth industry, but that can be changed, with greater collaboration between nations, and improved public/private partnerships. The technology exists to keep financial information and intellectual property safe, and when we do so, we create opportunities for positive economic growth and job creation worldwide.”  

The full report can be found on McAfee’s website.

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