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Within five years, cybercrime will more than double, a new report said.

The cost of cybercrime will increase to $6 trillion in 2021 from $3 trillion in 2015. The biggest reason for the increase is the massive expansion of the attack surface, according to the report from Cybersecurity Ventures.

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As it usually is, data remains the primary target for attackers. Microsoft said by 2020 data volumes online will be 50 times greater. There are 111 billion lines of new software code being produced each year — which will include billions of vulnerabilities that can end up exploited, according to research conducted by Secure Decisions.

With the projected growth of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in the coming years, the potential attack surface just keeps getting larger.

Schneider Bold

IIoT adoption is going to happen sooner or later because the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Manufacturers want the business to become more productive, easier to manage and more cost-effective to operate. In addition, IIoT will allow moving ancient legacy systems into a more modern era to take advantage of all things new technology and connectivity bring to the table.

The negative, though, means the manufacturer could be a cyber security sitting duck if they don’t see – and understand – what is coming at them.

The $6 trillion estimate of costs related to cybercrime damages by 2021 comes from historical cybercrime figures including year-over-year growth, a dramatic increase in nation state-sponsored and organized crime gang hacking activities, and a cyber attack surface which will be an order of magnitude greater than it is today.

The cybercrime cost prediction includes damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm.

The worldwide cyber damage estimates do not include unreported cybercrimes, legal and public relations fees, declines in stock and public company valuations directly and indirectly related to security breaches, negative impact on post-hack ability to raise capital for start-ups, interruptions to e-commerce and other digital business transactions, loss of competitive advantage, departure of staff and recruiting replacement employees in connection with cyber-attacks and resulting losses, and ongoing investigations to trace stolen data and money.

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