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Global Losses from Cybercrime Skyrocketed to Nearly $1 trillion in 2020, Report Finds

By The Washington Post

December 8, 2020

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Estimated global losses from cybercrime are projected to hit just under a record $1 trillion for 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic provided new opportunities for hackers to target consumers and businesses.

The projection of $945 billion in losses, from a new report out today from the Center for Strategic and International Studies and computer security company McAfee, is almost double the monetary loss from cybercrime than the $500 billion in 2018.

The report underscores the growing dangers that ransomware attacks by foreign criminal enterprises posed to American industries. Lawmakers have been deeply concerned about the impact of such attacks, including on the financial and health-care sectors, in the pandemic. 

The coronavirus inspired an unprecedented number of online scams preying on the fears of both consumers and businesses – and a mass migration of employees to remote work created a perfect storm.

"When workers move to home environments, they are essentially becoming their own I.T. support," said Steve Grobman, senior vice president and chief technology officer at McAfee. "It's really about understanding that this is a different environment and building a security strategy to effectively defend it."


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