Sunday, April 14, 2024

Security Bite: Annual Cybercrime Losses Hit $9.2 Trillion in 2024

The escalating cybercrime landscape is reaching unprecedented heights. According to the latest Statista Market Insights survey, the annual losses due to cyberattacks are projected to reach $9.2 trillion this year. This figure surpasses the revenue of some of the world's largest companies, exceeding Apple's annual revenue in 2023 by more than 24 times. This positions cybercrime as one of the largest illegal economies globally.

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You're currently reading Security Bite, a weekly column dedicated to security on 9to5Mac. Every Sunday, Arin Waichulis provides insights on data privacy, unveils vulnerabilities, and highlights emerging threats in the expansive Apple ecosystem, which boasts over 2 billion active devices. Stay secure, stay safe.

According to the same Statista Market Insights survey, the costs of cybercrime have drastically increased in recent years, rising by 245% from $860 billion to $2.95 trillion between 2018 and 2020. Due to the pandemic, the incurred costs doubled to $5.49 trillion in 2021, and it's projected to reach $8.15 trillion by 2023, with an annual increase of $1 trillion.

The estimated global losses due to cybercrime will reach $13.82 trillion by 2028. These figures account for ransom payments, lost productivity, system downtime, and data theft resulting from cyberattacks. Currently, cybercrime has become one of the largest illegal economies globally, posing threats not only to businesses and governments but also to the general public.

So, why do cyberattacks, including ransomware, data breaches, cyber espionage, and phishing, continue to grow exponentially despite efforts to prevent and mitigate threats?

Contributing Factors

Here's what I've learned after reaching out to several industry professionals:

Expanding attack surface: It's somewhat challenging, but the ongoing proliferation of IoT devices has provided a larger attack surface and more potential targets for cybercriminals. This doesn't exclude Mac users. As mentioned in a previous Security Bite post, Jamf reported a 50% increase in new Mac malware families in 2023. Each of these families may have dozens of malware instances. The growing Mac user base makes it a more appealing target for cybercriminals. Geopolitics: Often, nations engage in cyberattacks to gain strategic advantages, disrupt critical infrastructure, or gather intelligence. With conflicts in Ukraine and Israel, we're witnessing an uptick in major state-sponsored attacks. Lack of cybersecurity skills: Due to the skills shortage we're experiencing, there's a significant number of unfilled cybersecurity positions. This means fewer professionals to monitor and defend against specific threats. The shortage of skilled professionals can also lead to increased workload for existing staff, resulting in decreased productivity and employee burnout. Threat actors capitalize on this. Low entry barriers: The right combination of tough economic factors, quick financial gains, and low technical knowledge has made ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) highly popular. It's a subscription-based model where operators write the software, and affiliates pay to launch attacks using pre-made tools and packages. This allows individuals without skills to develop their own ransomware for attacks. Unfortunately, RaaS kits are readily available on the dark web. Lack of awareness: Many individuals and organizations remain vulnerable to cyberattacks due to a lack of awareness of the risks and consequences. In a Jamf's annual trend report mentioned above, 40% of mobile users and 39% of organizations run devices known to have vulnerabilities. Of course, popular Apple device management platforms notify users, but it shows there's still a lack of awareness.

How to Protect Your Mac

Always update your devices: Whether it's an iPhone, Mac, or iPad, everyone should prioritize updating their OS with the latest security patches. This will address known vulnerabilities that malware can exploit. Use antivirus software: Macs aren't immune to malware! I recommend using Malwarebytes, which provides a free app for individuals that can detect and remove potential threats. Additionally, CleanMyMac X by MacPaw now includes a malware removal tool powered by MoonLock. Be cautious when clicking: Email remains the top vertical for malware. Minimal effort for criminals, maximum success. 9% of phishing attacks succeeded in 2023, up 1% from 2022.

That wraps up the content on Security Bite: Annual losses due to cybercrime reach $9.2 trillion in 2024. I hope you find it insightful.

via 9to5mac


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