Estimating the Costs of Cyber Attacks Against the U.S., Billions

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Cyberattacks cost the United States between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016

The report published by the White House Council of Economic Advisers examines the cyberattacks cost that malicious cyber activities cause to the U.S. economy.

The report analyzed the impact of malicious cyber activities on public and private entities, including DoS attacks, sabotage, business disruption, and theft of proprietary data, intellectual property, and sensitive financial and strategic information.

Damages and losses caused by a cyber attack may spill over from the initial target to economically linked organizations. More exposed are critical infrastructure sectors, at attack against companies and organization in this industry could have a severe impact on the US economy.

The document warns of nation-state actors such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, that are well funded and often conduct sophisticated targeted attacks for both sabotage and cyber espionage.


The forecast of the cost damage in coming years….

In part from Forbes: In 2015, the British insurance company Lloyd’s estimated that cyber attacks cost businesses as much as $400 billion a year, which includes direct damage plus post-attack disruption to the normal course of business. Some vendor and media forecasts over the past year put the cybercrime figure as high as $500 billion and more.

From 2013 to 2015 the cyber crime costs quadrupled, and it looks like there will be another quadrupling from 2015 to 2019. Juniper research recently predicted that the rapid digitization of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, increasing to almost four times the estimated cost of breaches in 2015.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) says a significant portion of cybercrime goes undetected, particularly industrial espionage where access to confidential documents and data is difficult to spot. Those crimes would arguably move the needle on the cyber crime numbers much higher.

Large banks, retailers, and federal agencies make the headlines when they are hacked – but all businesses are at risk. According to Microsoft, 20% of small to mid sized businesses have been cyber crime targets.

For anyone who wants to tally their own bill from cyber crime, check out Cyber Tab from Booz Allen. It is an anonymous, free tool that helps information security and other senior executives understand the damage to companies inflicted by cyber crime and attacks. More here.


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Denise Simon