Jim Lewis, a Senior Director at CSIS, said; "Cybercrime is a tax on innovation and slows the pace of
global innovation by reducing the rate of return to innovators and
"For developed countries, cybercrime has serious implications for employment. The
effect of cybercrime is to shift employment away from jobs that create
the most value. Even small changes in GDP can affect employment."
The recent study identified an increase in assaults on intellectual property, and McAfee called it "particularly damaging."
The CSIS found that traditionally it's the UK retailers that suffer the most, with cyber-hacking related losses amounting to £850m.
Personal breaches are also on the climb, with McAfee
estimating that "personal information" breaches could cost in excess of $160bn
and affect 800 million people worldwide.
The UK ranks fifth in a table of most affected countries
and losses are estimated at $11.4bn, or around half a percent of gross
"It is clear that cybercrime has a real and detrimental
impact on the global economy. Over time, cybercrime has become a growth
industry; the returns are great, and the risks are low," said Raj
Samani, EMEA CTO at McAfee.
"However, this situation is not irreparable as stronger
technology defences, greater collaboration between nations, and improved
public private partnerships could prevent and reduce the loss from
Recovery costs are an increasing problem too, according to
the report, which found that in Italy, the $8.5bn cost of cybercrime
dwarfed the actual value of the losses directly caused by hacking, which
stood at $875m.
"To put that into context, if cybercrime were a country it
would have the 27th largest economy on the planet. Therefore this report
should help everyone better visualise the scale of the threat we all
The warnings come after a spate of cyber attacks and database breaches that affected ebay, Spotify and Office as efforts to tackle cyber criminals ramp up.