Cybercrime is booming as a new report reveals that cybercriminals stole $45 billion in 2018 and Equifax pays out £561 million as the 2017 breach it suffered continues to take a toll.
According to the Incident Breach Trends Report from the Internet Society’s Online Trust Alliance (OTA) the cost of cybercrime to businesses increased sharply from 2017 despite a slight reduction in the number of reported incidents.
Cybercrime as an industry is worth $45 billion but when compared to the overall cost of cybercrime, such as when it comes to remediation and other factors it’s but a drop in the ocean.
A separate report released by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by IBM meanwhile shows that the average size of a data breach in the UK, has increased 3.6% and the per capita cost per lost or stolen record is £119, an increase of 9.69% from 2018.
The primary causes of the increase are down to the ongoing financial impacts that a data breach can have on a business as well as the costs of implementing new security regulations and resolving cyber-attacks.
The consequences are severe for small and medium sized businesses. Globally, companies employing fewer than 500 employees typically suffering losses of more than £2million, a potentially disastrous amount.
As if to prove the point that the financial implications of a cyber-attack can be long term, it was revealed that Equifax could pay out a £561 million settlement to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as it still suffers the fallout from the breach it suffered in 2017. The breach saw the record of at least 147 million people being exposed. £340 million will be paid out to compensate the victims of the breach.
Equifax has already spent millions of dollars on the incident including being hit by the then (pre-GDPR) maximum fine of £500,000 by the UK’s Information Commissioners Office as a result of the data of 15 million UK citizens that was compromised during the breach. If the breach had occurred after GDPR was introduced that fine is likely to have been far higher.
It’s also not likely to be the end of the Equifax saga, however, as some members of the US government want more severe deterrents put in place.
Senator Ron Wyden told the press in the wake of the settlement announcement: “In a just world, these executives would be going to jail. No one should be able to collect deeply sensitive information on 200 million people without their consent, treat it with reckless disregard and then just pay a fine when a predictable, easily avoidable hack takes place.”
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