Cybercrime impacts Singapore economy

Anuradha Shukla

Cybercrime impacts Singapore economy, according to a new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

The estimated annual economic losses due to cybercriminals for Singapore alone amounts to US $ 1 billion.

Cybercrime costs businesses about US $400 billion worldwide, and the McAfee sponsored report shows that cybercrime impacts about 200,000 jobs in the U.S., and 150,000 jobs in the European Union.

Cybercrime damages a company's performance, trade, its competitiveness and global economic growth. 

The Internet economy generates between US $2 trillion and US $3 trillion each year and cybercrime extracts between 15% and 20% of the value created by the Internet.

"It is very worrying how much cybercrime costs economies around the world, including The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)," said WahabYusoff, vice president, McAfee Southeast Asia, part of Intel Security. "This is a shocking reminder to take every precaution to try and safeguard our organisations across the private and public sector against hackers and malware."

Personal information breaches

Findings from the report indicate that forty million people in the U.S., roughly 15 percent of the population, have had their personal information stolen by hackers. 

High-income countries lost more as a percent of GDP than low-income countries.

Retailers were as a favourite target for hackers in 2013 and in the U.K., retailers lost more than US $850 million to hackers. Large-scale attacks occurred against an airline, hotel chains and financial services companies in Australia, costing about US $100 million.

Although criminals will not be able to monetize all the information they steal, their victims must spend significant resources as if they could. For instance, actual hacking losses were US $875 million but recovery costs, reached US $8.5 billion in Italy.

"Over the years, cybercrime has become a growth industry, but that can be changed, with greater collaboration between nations, and improved public private partnerships," said Scott Montgomery, chief technology officer, public sector at McAfee. "The technology exists to keep financial information and intellectual property safe, and when we do so, we create opportunities for positive economic growth and job creation worldwide."