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FEATURE


cybersecurityeurope PAGE 50


Senior executives must now develop a holistic understanding of the full economic impacts that cyber threats have on their organisations.


A MEANS BY WHICH TO CALCULATE THE ECONOMIC IMPACT caused by cyber crime at organisational and GNP levels has gained in importance as business leaders gain greater knowledge of how digital adversaries can sap their capacity to operate profi tably. Cyber crime’s damaging eff ect on national fi nances is also raising alarm in governmental circles. Analysts have approached the issue


from various angles using diff erent impact model types which are, and acknowledged to be, somewhat speculative in their assumptions and conclusions. For instance, there is


COSTING THE CRIMES


the question of whether investment in defensive cyber security products and services represents a ‘cost of cyber crime’, or whether cost impact models should be confi ned to quantifi able subtractive losses identifi ed following a cyber attack incident. And if products and services that were supposed to prevent a successful attack fail to do so, does that render them a valueless IT asset? For executives seeking to gain a comprehensive understanding of


potential cyber crime cost impacts, it’s essential to recognise that those costs come in several forms; it’s not just stolen money. Cyber criminals are out to thieve any assets, and infl ict any disruption, that they think they can profi t from. They fi nd encouragement in the fact their targets seem to be


more co-operative. Ransomware attacks have proved lucrative in a surprising number of cases around the world. The Telstra Security Report 2018, for instance, reports that malware victims see paying for ransomware extortion almost as a more expedient form


FACTS CYBER CRIME: ‘THE GREATEST THREAT TO EVERY COMPANY IN THE WORLD’


Economic researcher Cybersecurity Ventures has predicted that cyber crime will cost the world $6tn annually by 2021, up from $3tn in 2015. This represents ‘the greatest transfer of economic


wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, and will be more profi table than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined’.


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