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Cyber crime costs £72 billion a year

2011 has been the year of the ‘hacker', with a news story almost every week detailing a security breach. Two of the names which are mentioned often are high profile, underground groups Lulzsec and Anonymous. How much does Cyber Crime cost every year? Well according to Symantec, they say its $114 billion a year (around £72 billion).

Their study takes into account losses globally from companies who have suffered from some sort of security breach. They add however if you were to factor in ‘time lost' from companies trying to recover, then you would add another $274 billion to the total number.

The ‘Cybercrime report‘ adds “According to the Norton Cybercrime Report 2011 more than two thirds of online adults (69 percent) have been a victim of cybercrime in their lifetime. Every second 14 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than one million cybercrime victims every day. For the first time, the Norton Cybercrime Report reveals that 10 percent of adults online have experienced cybercrime on their mobile phone. In fact, the Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 16 reported there were 42 percent more mobile vulnerabilities in 2010 compared to 2009 – a sign that cybercriminals are starting to focus their efforts on the mobile space. The number of reported new mobile operating system vulnerabilities increased, from 115 in 2009 to 163 in 2010. In addition to threats on mobile devices, increased social networking and a lack of protection are likely to be some of the main culprits behind the growing number of cybercrime victims.”

Symantec hired StrategyOne to conduct interviews during February and March from around 20,000 people in 24 countries. 69 percent of these people admitted being a victim of a cyber crime in their lifetime. Symantec made a calculation and said that 14 adults become the victim of a crime every second. This translates to one million attacks every day.

They said that male users between the ages of 18 and 31 who access the web from their phones, are most likely to be successfully targeted, with 80 percent in this group falling victim to an attack on some level.

“The disconnect between awareness and action is further illustrated by the fact that while 74 percent of respondents say they are always aware of cybercrime, many are not taking the necessary precautions. Forty-one percent of adults indicated they don’t have an up to date security software suite to protect their personal information online. In addition, less than half review credit card statements regularly for fraud (47 percent), and 61 percent don’t use complex passwords or change them regularly. Among those who access the Internet via their mobile phone, only 16 percent install the most up to date mobile security.”

Kitguru says: Have you been a victim of cybercrime?

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