The median cost of cybercrime has increased by nearly 200 percent over the past five years — costing the global economy approximately $450 billion each year — and will likely continue to grow, according to a report released yesterday by Hamilton Place Strategies. In 2014 alone, data breaches exposed over 85 million records in the U.S., and CEOs now rank concerns over cyber-related threats higher than those from fiscal crises, asset bubbles and energy prices.
As evidenced by many recent high-profile breaches, cybercrime can cause serious reputational damage that can affect a business’ bottom line. The report also warned that the effects of a breach at one company could “ricochet” throughout an entire industry, shaking consumer confidence and leading to profit loss even for businesses whose data has not been compromised.
The report added that having a strong communications response plan in place can help businesses save time and minimize financial loss in the event of a cyberattack, and stressed the importance of testing those plans against various hypothetical scenarios.