The Cost of Insecurity
Insecurity affects us all, whether we own several smart home devices, hundreds of connected cameras or thousands of industrial sensors. In fact, a report by Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that cybercrime will cost the world more than US$6 trillion annually by next year.
Perhaps the greatest impact will come from the huge number of products being connected to the internet because a weakness in a single device can have far-reaching consequences. This has been demonstrated by the hacks that are consistently hitting the headlines. As notes in a report for the Internet Society: "These types of attack can cause substantial harm at a local, national or even international scale. The foregone revenue to firms faced with such attacks - just one dimension fo the costs of an attacks - can reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars."
According to reports, "around 8% of Dyn's customer base stopped using its services" following the DDoS attack on the domain name server provider in 2016
Smart data firm, NETSCOUT, reports this was the cost per attack - in US dollars - of "downtime associated with internet service outages caused by DDoS attacks in 2018
A report by business adviser Grant Thornton says more than half of the UK mid-market companies it surveyed recently suffered "losses equivalent to 3-10% of revenue" following a cyber attack. In addition, its report states that losses were up to 25% of revenue for the hardest hit businesses
More than half of the businesses (58%) surveyed for that same report said they expected a cyber attack would have the most impact on their reputation
A report by professional services firm, Accenture, states that over the next five years, companies in the private sector "risk losing an estimated US$5.2 trillion in value creation opportunities from the digital economy - almost the size of the economies of France, Italy and Spain combined - to cybersecurity attacks
The costs also extend beyond financial damage. For example, an attack on the devices used to monitor critical infrastructure may lead to significant disruption to people's lives, or worse. According to a report on the security challenges we face when we merge the physical and digital worlds, which was published on the World Economic Forum's Strategic Intelligence digital tools (source: Safety, Security and the IoT, curated by Michigan State University, World Economic Forum's Strategy IQ app): "The days of trusting 'security through obscurity' or relying on a general ignorance of the flaws in a system, are numbered - as the advent of the IoT has now placed the blueprints of formerly inaccessible systems all over the internet. What would once have simply been thought of as a safety oversight can now be a potent weapon, if placed in the wrong hands."
Unfortunately, all of these costs are adding up and they could soon result in a lack of trust...