Cybercrime costs the global economy $600bn

Lynsey Barber
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McAfee says the economic impact of cybercrime is rising (Source: Getty)

The cost of cybercrime to the global economy has hit as much as $600bn (£431bn), new research reveals.

That's a rise of $150bn since 2014, McAfee and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies calculates.

Read more: Most global firms have no clue what a cyber attack will cost them

Banks remain the biggest target while nation states are the most dangerous source of cybercrime, with Russia, North Korea and Iran the most active hackers of financial institutions, according to the cyber security company.

China was found to be the most active in cyber espionage.

Cybercrime has "huge financial impact on both businesses and the wider economy," said McAfee chief scientist Raj Samani.

"This trend is likely to continue with the cybercrime as-a-service economy offering less technical individuals the opportunity to participate and quickly profit from lucrative attacks."

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He added “Businesses often struggle to remain vigilant against threats because they have too many tools operating in silo at once – and failing to communicate with each other. By making sure that tools can work together and removing siloed security teams, organisations can find the right combination of people, process and technology to effectively protect data, detect threats and, when targeted, rapidly correct systems.

A separate study from Cisco of business information chiefs found that more than half of cyber attacks resulted in financial costs of more than $500,000.

The rise in cost come from the growing number of people online and the increasing sophistication of criminals.

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