Big business cybercrime

Apr 30 | 2024

Nordlayer, an online security company, has provided The Mover with access to a new Statista Market Insights survey that has found that the annual cost of cyberattacks reached $8.15 trillion last year. That’s 13-times bigger that the revenue of Walmart, the biggest US company.

Cybercrime 445x277The $8.15 trillion figure accounts for damage and destruction caused by various cyberattacks, including ransom payouts, lost productivity, system downtimes, and data theft. Nordlayer said that cybercrime has become one of the largest illegal economies globally, threatening businesses and governments.

"Some still believe a typical hacker is just a guy wearing a hoodie in a dark room. But that isn’t true anymore,” said Carlos Salas, a cybersecurity expert at NordLayer. Cybercrime has evolved into a professionalised global enterprise with skilled hackers, nation-state backed groups, and organised cybercrime rings working in tandem."

The company said that the main two business models used by cybercriminals are: stealing  personal and financial data, login credentials, and corporate secrets, which are then packaged and sold to other threat actors, fuelling crimes such as identity theft, payment fraud, and corporate espionage; and using ransomware to encrypt an organisation's systems and data, holding them hostage until a ransom fee is paid.

“With relatively low entry costs but higher income than traditional crimes, it's no surprise cybercrime has become such an attractive criminal pursuit,” said Carlos. “There’s less physical risk than, say, burglary or armed robbery. With so much valuable data and systems to target across businesses, cybercrime has become a highly profitable illegal industry."

Read the Statista Market Insights survey here.