CYBERCRIME: Report predicts $6 trillion global cost by 2021

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On June 10, the Dubai police arrested Nigerian Dubai based Instagram celebrity millionaire, Hushpuppi, in Operation Fox Hunt 2. He was arrested alongside others who were alleged to have committed cybercrime against the United States of America, Europe and Nigeria. The US has been the victim of cybercrime in recent times with most of the victims linked to Nigeria.

According to the Interpol, traditional forms of crime have evolved as criminal organisations turn increasingly to the internet to facilitate their activities and maximize their profit in the shortest time. Cybercrimes involves hacking, botnets, malware and darknet.

The Cybersecurity Ventures, a research and publishing firm that focuses on global cyber economy, predicted in its 2019 report that cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6trillion annual by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. According to the report, happenings in the last two years validated the prediction.

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The report predicted that there would be 6 billion Internet users by 2022 and more than 7.5 billion Internet user by 2030. “Like street crime, which historically grew in relation to population growth, we are witnessing a similar evolution of cybercrime. It’s not just about more sophisticated weaponry; it’s as much about the growing number of human and digital targets,” the report noted.

Cybercrime is creating unprecedented damage to both private and public enterprises, and driving up Information Technology security spending.  “Worldwide spending on information security products and services reached more than $114 billion (USD) in 2018, an increase of 12.4 percent from last year, according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. In 2019, the market was forecast to grow 8.7 percent to $124 billion.”

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Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that a business will fall victim to ransomeware every 14 seconds by 2019 and every 11 seconds by 2021. Global ransomeware damage cost was predicted to exceed $5 billion in 2017, up more than 15 times in 2015. The damages were then predicted would cost the world $11.5 billion in 2019, and $20 Billion in 2021

There is therefore the need for businesses to engage the services of cyber security experts, however there are fears that there may not be enough army of cyber-security experts to go up against the growing numbers of cybercriminals.

According to former Chief of the US Security and Exchange Commission’s Office of Internet Enforcement, Reed Stark, “The greatest virtual threat today is not state sponsored cyber-attacks; newfangled clandestine malware; or a hacker culture run amok, the most dangerous looming crisis in information security is instead a severe cybersecurity labor shortage.”

Cybersecurity Ventures therefore said in its report that the demand for cybersecurity professionals will increase to approximately 6 million globally by 2019. Cybercrime will more than triple the number of job openings to 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021, and the cybersecurity unemployment rate will remain at zero percent.

The report advised that every IT worker should be involved with protecting and defending apps, data, devices, infrastructure, and people.

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