Cyber-crime, a far greater threat without global collaboration

Posted by Janice Scheckter on 20 February 2017 4:10 PM CAT

 In 2014, The Wall Street Journal estimated that the cost of cyber-crime in the U.S. was approximately $100 billion. In 2015, the British insurance company Lloyd’s estimated that cyber-attacks cost businesses as much as $400 billion a year.

From 2013 to 2015 the cyber-crime costs quadrupled, and Forbes Magazine predicts there will be another quadrupling from 2015 to 2019. Juniper Research recently predicted that the rapid digitisation of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019.


“Cyber-crime may be the greatest threat to every company in the world.”

Ginni Rometty, IBM Corp. Chairman, CEO and President


Did you know that there are cyber-crime sites where the criminals are rated and reviewed for services? One can buy all sorts of illegal services with relative ease, including a change of identity.


The challenge is that companies are reluctant to share criminal activities for fear of brand and reputational damage, but without a system of collaboration and knowledge sharing, the fight is weakened.


In 2014, Maarten Van Horenbeeck, Chair of The Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) wrote about Africa’s cyber-crime threat. According to Van Horenbeeck, the most serious issue lay in the significant gap between the scale of Africa’s cyber-security capability and the increased availability of internet-enabled devices to a wider cross-section of the population.

“Cyber-crime affects ordinary citizens in Africa – it is estimated that Kenyans lost $23,000,000 last year (2013) because of fraud – and costs the economy millions. It’s impossible to calculate the damage done to Nigerian businesses, which have been virtually blacklisted by retailers around the world as they increasingly refuse to ship to a country that has become a by-word for online scams in recent years,” he wrote.  

Knowledge sharing becomes critical, both for citizens and businesses alike. A central database for a global audience is critical, but of course, just like any major problem, there is an opportunity and where there’s an opportunity, there is business. Where will the collaborative drive come from I wonder? 

Janice Scheckter is MD of Indigo New Media and a collaboration strategist, trainer and speaker.


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Source: Forbes

Africa Business Review

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