Late last week McAfee released a new report focused on the cost of cybercrime and its impact on global economies.
Through extensive research in partnership with CSIS and survey of 1,500 global IT decision-makers, McAfee has determined cybercrime is now a trillion dollar (more than 15 trillion Rands) drag on the global economy. However, McAfee found 90% of companies reported hidden costs that went beyond monetary losses — including major reductions in productivity and lost work hours.
Bringing it back home, according to a 2018 report issued by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre, cybercrime in the financial sector alone accounted for annual losses reaching as high as R2.2 billion (US$115.5 million). SciDev.Net reports that the global economy loses US$500 billion to cybercrime each year, an amount that exceeds South Africa’s total annual gross domestic product.
In relation, cybercrime contributes to 1% of global GDP.
We reached out to Carlo Bolzonello, McAfee SA country manager to find out what other impacts were experienced by cybercrime. Its apparent that malicious file detections stand in the hundreds of thousands, and continue to rise. The potential impact of these attempts remain a key concern, especially considering that most are created to defraud ordinary South Africans, during a time when they are at their most vulnerable.
For business, a primary concern is the increasing capability of post-intrusion ransomware. There are organisations of cyber criminals who are extremely proficient at extorting companies, and their actions not only put our industries and enterprises at risk, but the economy itself at risk. It is being more widely accepted than ever before that cyber defence is not an IT issue – it is a major concern for the economy and society at large.
But how do local businesses recover from this?
Many business decision makers are now operating within a mindset of being under continual attack, which has resulted in major pressures to ensure they get cyber defence right in order to effectively fend off attacks. It is critical that organisations obtain absolute certainty around the systems, processes and skilled workforce required for their business’ defence needs and maintenance of core function, well before a crisis occurs.
Cyber security solutions – such as the comprehensive protection developed by McAfee and used by some of the world’s most crucial enterprises – are evolving and adapting to address the trends and challenges seen in the landscape. Organisational leaders must understand that there are cutting-edge solutions available for the protection of business and the economy – and that making the decision to invest in these solutions is the most important first step.
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