Cybercrime cost the US up to $109 billion in 2016, says White House

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

22 February 2018

A report released by the White House last week confirms that cybercrime is a huge drain on the US economy. According to official figures from the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), online crime cost the US between $57 billion and $109 billion in just that one year.

The report examined the cost of “malicious cyber activity” directed at both public and private entities, and included “denial of service attacks, data and property destruction, business disruption (sometimes for the purpose of collecting ransoms) and theft of proprietary data, intellectual property, and sensitive financial and strategic information.”

It also noted that security vulnerabilities can be widespread, meaning that a number of different companies or individuals can be targeted in the same way. This can be seen in a number of high-profile cybersecurity panics over the last few years; vulnerabilities often occur with software widely used.

The report went on to state that though cybersecurity is a “common good”, companies are under-investing in it, which is causing the overall economy to lose out. The report concluded:

Companies, individuals, and the government are vulnerable to malicious cyber activity. Effective public and private-sector efforts to combat this malicious activity would contribute to domestic GDP growth. However, the ever-evolving nature and scope of cyber threats suggest that additional and continued efforts are critical, and the cooperation between public and private sectors is key.

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