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Why cyber-crime figures are lower than first thought.

August 8th 2013

According to a new study the true cost of cyber-crime and espionage to business has been over exaggerated for years.

They study, by the Centre for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), sponsored by McAfee was to quantify the economic impact of cyber-crime after years of guess work.

CSIS had the help of economists, intellectual property experts and security researches to build an economic model and methodology, which revealed global losses, are lower than thought.

This puts the cost in context of global GDP, pointing out that it represents only 0.4% to 1.4%, compared with losses due to drug trafficking, which represent 5% of global GDP.

The authors pointed out the problem with relying on methods such as surveys, as companies that reveal their cyber losses often cannot estimate what has been taken. Intellectual property losses are difficult to quantify.

Mike Fey, Executive Vice-President and Chief of Technology Officer at McAfee, said “We believe the CSIS report is the first to use actual economic modelling to build out the figures for the losses attributable to malicious cyber activity”. He went on to say, “Other estimates have been bandied about for years, but no one has put any rigor behind the effort. As policy – makers, business leaders and others struggle to get their arms around why cyber security matters; they need solid information on which to base their actions”.

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