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Criminal data breaches will cost businesses $8 trillion over next five years

Tyrone Stewart

Matrix code cyberCybercrime is set to cost businesses a total of $8 trillion (£6.2 trillion) over the next five years, due to internet connectivity levels increasing and enterprise wide security inadequacies, according to Juniper Research.

Research from the Hampshire-based analyst forecasts that the number of data records stolen by cybercriminals will reach 2.8bn this year, nearly doubling to 5bn by 2020.

SMEs (small and medium enterprises) were found to be most at risk from cyberattacks, due to spending less than $4,000 on cybersecurity this year and generally running older software leaving them vulnerable. Juniper expects there to only be marginal increases in security spend over the next five years.

“The attacks on hospital infrastructure show that inadequate cybersecurity can now cost lives as well as money,” said research author James Moar, referring to the recent ‘Wannacrypt’ international cyberattack. “Businesses of all sizes need to find the time and budget to upgrade and secure their systems, or lose the ability to perform their jobs safely, or at all.”

Juniper’s research also shows that ransomware is becoming a far more advanced form of malware, as ransoming stored data and devices becomes easier and more valuable than stealing financial details.

The analyst predicts that ransomware will develop into simple-to-use toolkits in a similar vein to how banking Trojans developed into ‘products’ that required little programming knowledge.