Cybercrime Damage Has Cost Companies over $25B Since 2015

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We all know that the internet isn’t safe. Facebook has been hit with multiple hacks and data breaches. Twitter was hacked in a scheme to steal Bitcoin. Microsoft’s Exchange Server was breached. Even the US government suffered a massive hack in recent months. But how much damage have these attacks caused the targeted entities?

According to an exclusive report from Atlas VPN, cybercrime has accounted for $25.4 billion in worldwide damage since 2015. That number is likely even higher, considering the study includes data only through mid-2020. Atlas postulates that most of the losses have more to do with damages to the company’s reputation, rather than the loss of the data itself.

For instance, Facebook lost around $5.1 billion to cybercrime during this time period, and those losses could be a result of reduced earnings and stock prices following these attacks. Other companies, including Experian, Equifax, FedEx, and Merck, have been hit with $1 billion or more in damage.

The most costly attacks are credential attacks (the theft of an organization or individual’s passwords), which have accounted for $6.4 billion in company losses. Often, these credentials are stolen and then sold on the dark web, which happened in the recent T-Mobile breach. Backdoors, like what was used in the SolarWinds hack, have cost companies $5.6 billion.

Vulnerability exploits, like the one that led to the Equifax data breach, account for $4.7 billion in damage. Such an exploit is responsible for the PrintNightmare security vulnerability that is still currently plaguing Windows systems. Other costly attacks include spyware or scrapers ($2.4 billion) and remote admin tools ($2.2 billion).

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While the responsibility of protecting your data ultimately falls to the companies that collect and store it on their servers, you can take steps yourself to be more secure online. Look out for phishing scams, react to data breaches, and take action if you think you have been hacked.

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