Cybercrime, apparently, does pay. This is according to a few of the articles in this edition as well as many other news and feature reports we’ve done in the past based on any number of research papers that have sprung up over the last 12 to 18 months.
A report from McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies looks at online crime from the perspective of businesses and the impacts they experience when hit by attackers. According to their “Economic Impact of Cybercrime – No Slowing Down” report of 2018, cybercrime is costing businesses about $600 billion, up from the $445 billion they reported back in 2014. The numbers are cause for concern given what seems to be a consistent rise in impacts to the organizations attacked and the money made by criminals. Because bad guys can engage in online criminal activities with more ease damages to individual victims and companies are likely to continue to rise. Other contributing factors: existing cybercriminals are quick to adopt new technologies and they have become more financially sophisticated.
Various research reports show the trends of more attackers coming onto the scene and still others becoming more savvy as they engage in different types of nefarious activities to make some money. Rising impacts to companies should be of no surprise – regardless of the admirable efforts made by cybersecurity professionals. Such increases are not unlike the ebbs and flows we’ve seen in the physical world – though one might argue cybercrime has been on a scarily upward track for far too long. Bottom line, if there are desirable results to be had, there are criminals to seize the opportunities.
And the challenges are many. Companies still grapple with budgeting and resources. There are issues with educating higher-ups, end-users, consumers and others about the needs. There are problems with pay versus hours of work expected. There’s politics. Then, an existing huge community of vendors are over-complicating the scene with too much noise and confusion for end-users and potential buyers. And, there’s a reported massive shortage of professionals in coming years.
Just as criminals have their aims, so, too, do the practitioners. Cybersecurity done right can bring huge dividends to organizations, their staff and their customers. There are desirable results and long-term positive impacts to be had by cybersecurity professionals, their executive supporters, business and government leaders and everyday citizens. Cybersecurity can pay in big and varied ways. It seems there are signs many are embracing this notion; the hope is more continue to do so in concerted, demonstrative and palpable ways.