Global cybercrime revenues to reach USD 9.2 trillion in 2024

Cybercrime biggest potential threat to businesses

Cyber Security


April 13, 2024

/ By / Paris

Global cybercrime revenues to reach USD 9.2 trillion in 2024

Cybercrime has become one of the largest illegal economies globally, threatening businesses and governments

A report by data-based website Statista says that the global cybercrime revenues have crossed a record high of USD 8.15 trillion, more than double Indian GDP and 13 times more than revenues of Walmart, world’s biggest company.

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Global cybercrime has evolved into a business large enough to be more than all the countries in the world besides United States and China and several times more than the revenues generated by the world’s largest companies like Walmart or Amazon and the rate at which cybercrime is growing each year outpaces the fastest growing companies in the world.

These are some of the findings of a recent report on global cybercrime released after a survey by Statista Market Insights that has found that the annual cost of cyberattacks reached USD 8.15 trillion last year. According to the survey, this figure overshadows even the revenues of the largest corporations in the world. To put this into perspective, cybercrime’s annual income is as many as 13 times larger than that of Walmart, the biggest US company which has recorded sales of around USD 638.78 billion.

The report says that the cost of global cybercrime has snowballed over the years, with companies and organisations worldwide losing head-spinning figures in cyber attacks. According to data, the annual cost of cybercrime will hit USD 9.2 trillion in 2024, USD 1 trillion more than last year. This figure is expected to jump by a further 70 pc and hit USD 13.8 trillion by 2028.

Despite the maximum efforts to prevent and minimise cybercrime damage, cyber-attacks, including ransomware attacks, data breaches, cyber espionage, and phishing, are still the biggest threats in the business sector. According to the Allianz Risk Barometer survey, 40 pc of respondents called cybercrime their biggest potential threat in 2023, ahead of inflation, energy crises, and supply chain disruptions.

According to a Statista Market Insights survey, between 2018 and 2020, the global cybercrime cost skyrocketed by 245 pc, rising from USD 860 billion to USD 2.95 trillion. This cost included stolen money, damage and destruction of data, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal or financial data, post-attack disruption to the ordinary course of business, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.

With companies and organisations worldwide speeding up the digitalisation of their business amid the pandemic, this figure almost doubled and hit USD 5.49 trillion in 2021. Since then, the annual cost of cybercrime has been rising by more than USD 1 trillion dollars. After jumping over USD 7 trillion in 2022, the annual cost of cyber attacks hit USD 8.15 trillion last year.

This includes damage and destruction caused by various cyberattacks, including ransom payouts, lost productivity, system downtimes, and data theft. Cybercrime has become one of the largest illegal economies globally, threatening businesses and governments.

Statistics show cybercrime will inflict damages totaling USD 9.22 trillion this year, more than double the GDP of some of the world’s largest economies like Japan, Germany, India, and the United Kingdom. By 2028, this figure is forecasted to skyrocket to USD 13.82 trillion, or 16 times more than the total cybercrime cost in 2018.

The surging cost of cyber attacks continues forcing companies to spend more and more money on cybersecurity measures. Last year, companies and organizations worldwide spent USD 166.2 billion on cyber solutions and security services. This figure is forecasted to grow by 10 pc and hit USD 183.1 billion this year.

Statista expects the annual spending on cybersecurity to continue rising by an average of USD 20 billion per year and hit USD 273.5 billion in 2028. The cumulative spending figures are even more shocking. Statistics show that companies and organizations worldwide will spend over USD 1.1 trillion on cyber solutions and security measures in the next four years.

Carlos Salas

‘‘Some still believe a typical hacker is just a guy wearing a hoodie in a dark room. But that isn’t true anymore. Cybercrime has evolved into a professionalised global enterprise with skilled hackers, nation-state backed groups, and organised cybercrime rings working in tandem,’’ says Carlos Salas, a cybersecurity expert at NordLayer.

NordLayer is a cybersecurity firm that provides flexible and easy-to-implement network security tools.

How cybercriminals earn money

The report says that cybercriminals make money through two ways. One is by selling stolen data on dark web marketplaces and the other deals with ransomware attacks.

Cybercrime groups infiltrate systems to steal personal and financial data, login credentials, and corporate secrets, which are then packaged and sold to other threat actors, fueling crimes like identity theft, payment fraud, and corporate espionage.

Ransomware is used by hackers to encrypt an organisation’s systems and data, holding them hostage until a ransom fee is paid. Ransomware crews have disrupted businesses in various industries and governments, extorting millions. It has become a criminal enterprise, with operators renting malware and negotiating ransom payments through sophisticated infrastructures.

“With relatively low entry costs but higher income than traditional crimes, it’s no surprise cybercrime has become such an attractive criminal pursuit. There’s less physical risk than, say, burglary or armed robbery. With so much valuable data and systems to target across businesses, cybercrime has become a highly profitable illegal industry,’’ Salas adds.



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