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Annual Cybercrime Costs for Businesses to Reach Trillions

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Cybercrime currently costs businesses hundreds of billions

Estimated annual cybercrime-related costs for businesses on a global basis now exceeds $400 billion. And that figure looks to surpass $2 trillion by 2020.

A recent report from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) revealed the $400 billion annual figure, calling it a result of an increasingly interconnected world. Both direct damage costs and costs associated with recovery after a cyber attack contribute to the figure.

The BBB gathered responses from more than 1,500 businesses in the U.S. and Canada in an effort gain a better understanding of the state of cybersecurity among small businesses.

Small businesses targeted frequently

According to the BBB, 43 percent of all cyber attacks in 2015 targeted small businesses (businesses with less than 250 employees). But, despite this frequency, small business owners largely wrote of the threat of cyber crime. That is, the BBB said that 77 percent of small business owners felt that cyber threats such as viruses, malware, or hacking are not a concern.

Smaller small businesses at risk

The BBB survey did find that approximately 60 percent of business already have protective activity, processes or controls in place.

But preparedness decreased along with the size of the business. Smaller businesses, were less likely to have a current cybersecurity plan in place. Larger businesses, on the other hand, often had pieces in place, such as cyber insurance or employees dedicated to cybersecurity.

Cybercrime costs to reach $2 Trillion annually by 2020

A Juniper Research report estimated cybercrime costs to businesses topping $2 trillion per year by 2020. This would represent an approximate fivefold increase in cybercrime costs from those recently reported by the BBB.

Additionally, Juniper quoted the average cost of a data breach in 2020 at about $150 million by 2020. The cyber risks of the ever-connected world apply to individuals and businesses alike.

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