‘Cybercrime’ has entered the lexicon in a big way and has become a significant threat to businesses wherever they are located and whatever their size. But how bad is the threat? And why does it cause such high levels of alarm and concern?
2014 saw cybercrime operations grow ever more refined, with specialisations, service providers and fluctuating markets very much mirroring the legitimate technology industry, according to the Symantec ‘Website Security Threat Report 2015’.
“A drive-by download web toolkit”, for example, which includes updates and 24/7 support, can be rented for between $100 and $700 per week. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks can be ordered from $10 to $1, 000 per day and, in terms of the buyer’s market, credit card details can be bought for between $0.50 a nd $20 per card, while 1,000 followers on a social network can cost as little as $2 to $12.
One recent estimate (‘The Cost of Cybercrime’2) put the financial cost of cybercrime at a staggering £27bn per annum for the UK alone, with a significant proportion of this co ming from the theft of IP (Intellectual Property) from UK businesses, estimated at £9.2bn per annum – though the real impact of cybercrime is likely to be much greater. The main loser, at a total estimated cost of £21bn, is UK business itself, sa ys the report, which suffers from high levels of IP theft and espionage.
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