Security Market Segment LS
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 08:54

Cyber crime hit 978m in 2017, caused US$172b loss Featured


Nearly a billion people in 20 countries were affected in some way by cyber crime in 2017, a report from Norton by Symantec claims, after a survey of 21,549 individuals aged 18 and over in these countries. Of the 978 million affected, 6.09 million were from Australia.

The report found that 44% of consumers were affected by cyber crime in the past 12 months.

It said that as as a result, victims globally lost US$172 billion – an average of US$142 per victim. The figure for Australia was US$1.9 billion in total. Each of these people also spent about 24 hours — or almost three full workdays — dealing with the aftermath. 

A cyber crime was defined as, but not limited to, identity theft, credit card fraud or having your account password compromised.

The Norton Cyber Security Insights Report looked at North America (Canada and the US); Europe and the Middle East (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the UK); the Asia Pacific (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore); and Latin America (Brazil and Mexico).

The most common cyber crimes experienced by consumers or someone they knew included:

  • Having a device infected by a virus or other security threat (53%);
  • Experiencing debit or credit card fraud (38%);
  • Having an account password compromised (34%);
  • Encountering unauthorised access to or hacking of an email or social media account (34%);
  • Making a purchase online that turned out to be a scam (33%); and
  • Clicking on a fraudulent email or providing sensitive (personal/financial) information in response to a fraudulent email (32%).

The report found that victims shared three common characteristics:

  • they were over-confident about their cyber security prowess;
  • they used multiple devices; and
  • they were not inclined to practice the basics.

While millennials were the most cyber-savvy, they made simple security mistakes like bad password management (70%). Sixty percent experienced a cyber crime incident.

Baby boomers and seniors were the safest age groups, with 61% of baby boomers and two-thirds of seniors using different passwords for different sites.

But baby boomers lost the most globally due to cyber crime - US$167, which was 15% more than the average.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed had lost trust in their respective government's ability to manage their data and personal information.

Only 22% agreed that stealing information online was the same as stealing things in real life; 63% disagreed with this proposition.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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