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The Cybercrime Economy

The annual cost to the global economy from cybercrime is estimated to be between US$ 375 billion and US$ 575 billion (CSIS-Mc Afee 2014). Our hyper-connected world, and particularly the digital banking, has greatly increased the attack surface available to cybercriminals. Cybercrime is undoubtedly a growth industry with high returns and very low risks. This type of cross-border crime would lead to an average loss of 0.5% of GDP in developed countries, which is significant. Moreover, Europe could lose up to 150,000 jobs because of the cybercriminality. Other estimates underline that cybercrime extracts between 15% and 20% of the value created by Internet! Thus, it is no surprise that cybercrime is the fastest-growing type of criminality. Businesses, public administrations and private individuals must at last become aware that this problem needs to be addressed with real determination. They all must learn to protect their data more effectively. Today they are too often available for free access. Across Europe more than one in ten Internet users has already become a victim of online fraud. The hyper-technological society in which we live is in fact very fragile: the intrusion by criminals into our key information systems- consider finance, energy or health- could be devastating. In this context, we must welcome the establishment of the European Cybercrime Center (EC3-2013) and of the IGCI (Interpol-2015). Because the reality is that losses from cybercrime will continue to grow if there is no real improvement in international cooperation against cybercrime among States.

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