Cybercrime Costs £2.3m Every Minute, RiskIQ Warns

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Cost implications of cyber threats revealed after report malicious activity on the internet cost £1.2 trillion last year

A new report has highlighted the financial impact of cybercrime on the internet, which RiskIQ says is costing the global economy £2.3 million per minute.

Even worse, the annual report entitled “Evil Internet Minute”, which gathered data from proprietary global intelligence and third-party research to analyse the volume of malicious activity on the internet, found that cybercriminals cost the global economy a total of £1.2 trillion last year.

Earlier this week for example credit checking specialist Equifax US Information Solutions revealed it would pay an eye watering settlement of $650m to US regulators and US states for its data breach back in 2017.

Cybercrime costs

After it analysed all the gathered data, the RiskIQ report found that in a single internet minute, £2.3m is lost to cybercrime. It also found that top companies pay £20 per minute due to security breaches.

And the research threw up some other interesting costs of cybercrime.

For example, the cost of hacks on cryptocurrency exchanges every minute is £1,550; while phishing attacks per minute costs £14,200.

Lancaster University yesterday revealed that a ‘sophisticated and malicious phishing attack’ had compromised both student and applicant data, and that in some cases “fraudulent invoices are being sent to some undergraduate applicants.”

The RiskIQ report meanwhile found that the projected by-the-minute cost of global ransomware events in 2019 was £17,817; and the identifier records compromised every minute costs £8,100.

“As the scale of the internet continues to proliferate, so does the threat landscape,” said Lou Manousos, CEO of RiskIQ. “By compiling the vast numbers associated with cybercrime in the past year, we made the research more accessible by framing it in the context of an ‘internet minute.’ We are entering our third year defining the sheer scale of attacks that take place across the internet using the latest third-party research and our own global threat intelligence so that businesses can better understand what they’re up against on the open web.”

RiskIQ warned that tactics used by cybercriminals range from malvertising to phishing to supply chain attacks that target e-commerce. It pointed out the Magecart hacks have increased by 20 percent in the last year.

The motives of cybercriminals include monetary gain, large-scale reputational damage, political motivations, and espionage.

Better defences

“Without greater awareness and an increased effort to implement necessary security controls, there will be more attacks using an ever-expanding range of technologies and strategies,” Manousos said. “With the recent explosion of web and browser-based threats, organisations should look to what can happen in a matter of minutes and evaluate their current security strategy. Businesses must realise that they are vulnerable beyond the firewall, all the way across the open internet.”

Organisations therefore really do need to tighten up their defences, and ensure they have tightened their data protection capabilities.

A survey from tax audit advisors RSM recently found that 30 percent of European businesses are still not compliant with GDPR, despite it being over a year since it was introduced and the threat of hefty financial penalties.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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