The U.S. economy spent anywhere between $57 billion and $109 billion on cybercrimes in 2016 alone, according to a report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Cybercrimes include DDoS attacks, destruction of data or property, any disruption in business practices and stolen identity, intellectual or financial property.
In the last five years, cyberthreats emerged as the "most important strategic threat facing the United States" because they implicate security risks for "nearly all information, communications networks and systems," according to the report.
- Nation-states, hacktivists and corporate competitors are among the different categories of malicious actors, and nation-states including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are the most prevalent sources of threats. Coinciding with the report, the White House officially declared the Russian military responsible for last year's Nyetya wiper, according to a White House announcement.
Cybercrimes have the ability to cripple entire technical infrastructures and the integrity of the data they hold. It is therefore crucial to mitigate risk because national security, economic security and public safety are in jeopardy.
Worldwide, cybercrimes are expected to cost more than $6 trillion annually by 2021. But because of the evolving sophistication of cybercrimes, spending on cybersecurity efforts are forecast to reach about $1 trillion in the next five years.
However, with a closer eye on threatening actors, cybersecurity professionals in the public and private sectors should be more keen on identifying where malicious activity can sneak onto a network.
Nyeta was founded on its ability to "spread fast and cause damage," leaving little time to prevent an infiltration. Nyetya disrupted business worldwide, including Maersk. The shipping company subsequently installed more than 4,000 servers, 45,000 PCs and 2,500 applications in just 10 days.
Overhauling entire critical infrastructures is both a financial and reputational burden, and many companies simply don't have an IT workforce like Maersk's. The federal government is responsible for disclosing non-confidential information that could prove to have an impact on the private sector.
Still, increasing "inter-firm information sharing" will help better understand the wide-ranging security needs among those in the private sector, according to the report