Fighting cybercrime is a costly war for nations around the world. The cybercrime industry is a network of criminal activity aimed at individuals, governments, and corporations to generate profit, damage property, or steal information. However, it widely goes unnoticed on the seemingly harmless internet. Cybercriminal activities range from nets of email and internet fraud, identity theft, financial theft of credit card information, stealing corporate data, sale of counterfeit goods, and more. Because of its portability and anonymity, cybercrime has grown into a $1.5 trillion industry, forcing countries like the United States to step up their efforts against the war online.
The United States’ 2019 President’s Budget detailed a $583.4 million in their cybersecurity budget from 2018, totaling $15 billion in 2019. After the Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, where the government purportedly used thousands of spam accounts and stolen information to influence the outcome of the national election, the scale of cyberterrorism has become extensive and effective. On a smaller scale, everyday citizens are at risk of attacks to their finances and privacy; Cybersecurity Venture predicts that individuals experience a ransomware attack every 14 minutes.
In December 2012, a service attack towards Wells Fargo and J.P Morgan compromised 70 million customers’ information that potentially damaged life savings and earnings. Whether big or small, the threat of cybercrime is real and important, and businesses and individuals need to be vigilant and take the necessary measures to protect themselves.