Cybercrime is responsible for the loss of more than half a million U.S. jobs per year, a joint report sponsored by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies finds.
CSIS built an economic model and methodology to accurately estimate these losses, which can be extended worldwide. “Estimating the Cost of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage” posits a $100 billion annual loss to the U.S. economy and as many as 508,000 U.S. jobs lost as a result of malicious cyber activity.
The research team said it used “real-world analogies like figures for car crashes, piracy, pilferage, and crime and drugs to build out the model,” to estimate the damages of cybercrimes.
Attacks on businesses and consumers are a blight on the economy, with criminal foreign and domestic using the Internet to steal identities, intellectual property, trade secrets and just about anything else they can get their hands on.
In June, McAfee released a report that found the average firm takes nearly 10 hours to detect a security breach, which could lead to even more financial loss.
“This report is also the first to connect malicious cyber activity with job loss,” James Lewis, director and senior fellow, Technology and Public Program at CSIS said.
Cybersecurity is the subject of a long-running policy debate in Congress, with lawmakers divided over what role the government should play in setting and enforcing security standards for critical infrastructure operators in the private sector.
A second report is forthcoming which will look at the impact of cyber security losses on the pace of innovation, and the social costs associated with crime and job loss.
While cybercrime may impact innovation, patent trolls are another factor affecting U.S. jobs and economic costs. According to Boston University, patent trolls cost the U.S. economy about $29 billion in 2011.
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