Cybercrime costs are projected to reach $2 trillion by 2019 predicts Juniper Research, and $6 trillion by 2021 posits Cybersecurity Ventures. Cybercrime has already cost U.K. business over £1 billion in the past year according to the U.K.'s national fraud and cybercrime reporting center. And the 2016 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report states that global cybercrime hit $126 billion in 2015 and probably affected 689 million people in 2015, one of the lowest estimations of the global cybercrime cost. Cybercrime is one of the biggest challenges that humanity will face in the next 20 years. Our economies are becoming more dependent on technology, and thus more vulnerable to emerging variations of cybercrime and e-fraud.
When you see the figures, it's no surprise that the cost of cybercrime is causing considerable concern to governments and business leaders across the globe. By 2021, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts, cybercrime "will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually". An international 2018 PwC study of 1,293 CEOs revealed their fear of cybercrime as a risk to growth is up 16 percent in the past year alone, perhaps reflecting emerging anxieties about ransomware and state-sponsored hacking. Compared with their peers, leaders in the Middle East ranked fears around cyber threats higher, at 54 percent, than anywhere else. More widely, cyber threats ranked just behind overregulation on 42 percent and terrorism, 41 percent, and on a par with geopolitical uncertainty.
This last week has been dominated by news of a big shift in cybercrime, the move away from a single person or small group in one location to cybercriminals forming international coalitions. These new criminal organisations are either formed of groups of hackers banding together, or organised crime syndicates wanting to profit from this lucrative business. Unfortunately, we are not seeing this countered with large-scale co-ordinated international cooperation. There are some that are trying, for example, the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace is a partnership between governments and big business that hopes to set standards and rules that governments and business can use to cut down on cybercrime. It's also important to look at how nations are dealing with cybersecurity.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is proving to be one of the most influential and game-changing technology advancements in the business world. As more and more enterprises go digital, companies all over the globe are constantly engineering new ways to implement AI-based functions into practically every platform and software tool at their disposal. As a natural consequence, however, cybercriminals too are on the rise, and view the increasing digitization of business as wide open window of opportunity. It should come as no surprise, then, that AI is affecting cybersecurity – but it's affecting it in both positive and negative ways. Cybersecurity Ventures' Official 2019 Annual cybercrime Report predicts cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021 – up from $3 trillion in 2015.
The recent wannacry ransomware threatened businesses around the world, sent governments into disarray and nearly brought the NHS to its knees. But maybe something good has come of it. Questions of commitment were instantly asked by politicians, journalists and most importantly the public, as the WannaCry post-mortem got underway. So how does the UK stack up against other nations in its commitment to cybersecurity? And is it doing enough to ensure its virutal boarders aren't breached again?