Study Puts Annual Cybercrime, Economic Espionage Cost At $445 Billion


A Washington think tank estimates the annual cost of cybercrime and economic espionage to the world economy at more than $445 billion, or almost 1 percent of global income, reports the Washington Post. The estimate by the Center for Strategic and International Studies is lower than the eye-popping $1 trillion figure cited by President Obama, but it puts cybercrime in the ranks of drug trafficking in terms of worldwide economic harm. “This is a global problem and we aren't doing enough to manage risk,” said James Lewis, CSIS senior fellow and co-author of the new report.

The study, funded by the security firm McAfee, which is part of Intel Security, represents one of the first efforts to analyze the costs, drawing on a variety of data. “Cybercrime costs are big, and they're growing,” said Stewart Baker, a former Department of Homeland Security official and a co-author of the report. “The more that governments understand what those costs are, the more likely they are to bring their laws and policies into line with preventing those sorts of losses.” The report says the most advanced economies suffered the greatest losses. The U.S., Germany and China together accounted for about $200 billion of the total in 2013. Much of that was due to theft of intellectual property by foreign governments.

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