Cybercrime Costs. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Cybercrime Vs. COVID-19: Which Will Inflict More Financial Harm?

A Cybersecurity Super Bowl Special. Sponsored by KnowBe4

Steve Morgan, Editor-in-Chief

Northport, N.Y. – Feb. 7, 2021

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and around 100 million people will be watching a showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Who’ll win — Tom Brady, present-day NFL GOAT, or Patrick Mahomes, heir apparent GOAT? We’ll know at around 10 p.m. EST tonight.

Not far from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla., the gridiron for today’s contest, Stu Sjouwerman, founder and CEO of KnowBe4, is contemplating how to defeat everyone’s most cunning opponent: Cybercrime.

A matchup for the crown of the world’s WOAT (worst of all time) might be cybercrime vs. COVID-19. Which will inflict the greatest financial harm on society?

Cybercrime is set to become the third-largest economy this year, notes a recent Forbes article by Sjouwerman. This is based on a prediction from Cybersecurity Ventures which puts the cost of global cybercrime damages at $6 trillion annually in 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

A couple of Harvard University economists project the COVID-19 pandemic will cost the U.S., which is the world’s largest economy, at least $16 trillion if it ends by next fall. That doesn’t take China, the second largest, and the rest of the world’s economies into account.

Sjouwerman shares that cybercrime will cost the world a whopping $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, according to a report from Cybersecurity Ventures.

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In the space of a year, COVID-19 costs rocketed from zero to $16 trillion in the U.S. At some point, which isn’t clear at present, those damages will wind down as the country is vaccinated and we implement further preventive measures. There will be an end in sight.

Cybercrime damages on the other hand have steadily climbed over the past twenty years, and they’re estimated to grow by 15 percent per year over the next five years. It’s quite possible that by the end of the decade cybercrime may inflict more financial harm than COVID-19.

While Sjouwerman provides statistical information to put the cybercrime problem in perspective, he’s way more determined to prevent it. Much the way healthcare officials educate the public on COVID-19 and insist on masks and social distancing, Sjouwerman is hyper-focused on training the world’s businesses and consumers on cybersecurity, which can save their digital lives.

During the pre-game show or halftime of the Super Bowl, you might want to spend a few minutes reading Sjouwerman’s article. He shares the top 10 attack methods used by cybercriminals in language that anyone can understand.

One of KnowBe4’s evangelists and a world-renowned cybersecurity expert, Roger Grimes, came on the Cybercrime Magazine show (not to be confused with the Super Bowl halftime show!) to dissect each of the top 10 methods. Together, the article and video arm readers with the knowledge they need in the war against cybercrime.

We understand you’re likely to watch The Weeknd, the halftime headliner, over reading a cybercrime story. But there’s always tomorrow.

Cybercrime will cost the world $11.4 million a minute in 2021. Don’t be a statistic!

Steve Morgan is founder and Editor-in-Chief at Cybersecurity Ventures.

Go here to read all of my blogs and articles covering cybersecurity. Go here to send me story tips, feedback and suggestions.

Sponsored by KnowBe4

KnowBe4 is the world’s largest security awareness training and simulated phishing platform that helps you manage the ongoing problem of social engineering. We are a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant and the fastest-growing vendor in this space. We are proud of the fact that more than 50 percent of our team are women.