Cybercrime set to be world’s biggest illegal market by 2021 


According to a report by respected global information security firm Herjavec Group, cybercriminals will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. 

Cybercrime poses a great and real threat to the global order, financially and technologically. U.S. Army General Keith B. Alexander, in a speech on cybersecurity and cybercrime, said that cybercrime constitutes “the greatest transfer of wealth in history.”  

study conducted by nonprofit institution The RAND Corporation concluded that “The [cybercrime] black market, once a varied landscape of discrete, ad hoc networks of individuals motivated by ego and notoriety, has now become a burgeoning powerhouse of highly organized groups, often connected with traditional crime groups (e.g., drug cartels, mafias, terrorist cells) and nation-states.” 

The 2017 Cybercrime Report by Herjavec Group found that almost a half of cyber attacks globally target small business; scammers create an average of 1.4 million mimic websites for phishing every month; the size of an average DDoS attack is 4x larger than in the past; and ransomware damages are 15x what they were two years ago.  

They also make predictions that by 2021, ransomware attacks on healthcare organisations will quadruple; businesses will experience a ransomware attack every 14 seconds; and newly reported zero-day exploits will rise to once daily.  

Public and private enterprise alike are spending unprecedented numbers on cybersecurity and IT as cybercriminals constantly adapt and evolve their methods of attack.  

Cybersecurity Ventures, the world’s leading researcher for global cyber statistics, predicts that global spending on cybersecurity products and services will have exceeded $1 trillion USD cumulatively from 2017 to 2021. 

With a seemingly ever-growing cybercriminal network in an increasingly volatile online world, cybersecurity is guaranteed continued growth as a booming market out of necessity to protect users, businesses and governments alike.

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