Unsecured Economies – A Trillion Dollar Headwind (by Dave DeWalt)0
At Davos this week, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with world leaders about the most pressing issues of the day. Among the issues we’ve been discussing is the true cost of cybercrime, and the incredible drag it’s creating on the global economy. To underscore that point, we just announced the results of the first research to look into how the global economic downturn is affecting corporate data loss.
There are a couple of factors that have created a perfect storm for the challenges we’re seeing. Some have been in the making for quite some time, others are more recent.
For those who have read The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman, you understand the forces that are driving companies to store higher percentages of critical data offshore. With cheaper labor forces, you’ve got an extended supply chain that creates new challenges. With the world flattening, it’s created a perfect storm for data loss.
We continue to see major data breaches, such as Heartland, that are causing major damage to stock values and corporate reputations. We’re seeing a dramatic change in the landscape with IPv6, triple-play to the home, and connected devices. Now, basically anything with an IP address can be attacked by the bad guys. Cybercrime groups are growing increasingly sophisticated and more distributed globally, and it’s very difficult to track them down and trace them.
Massive layoffs are exacerbating the situation, particularly when the layoffs are global and we don’t have equal intellectual property protection around the world. When employees leave a company, it creates another scenario where they take data or unwillingly compromise data. They have portable information on phones, laptops and at home.
Our Unsecured Economies Report shows that the loss of intellectual property, such as trade secrets, to be one $1 trillion or more annually. This dollar amount is calculated based on the cost of data breaches resulting from theft by cybercriminals, or deliberate and accidental loss by employees. When you put a trillion dollar force against our economy right now, that is a significant headwind. We see this as a growing challenge over the next few years, and McAfee will stay on the forefront of helping companies fend off these challenges.
At McAfee, we are relentlessly focused on tackling the world’s toughest security challenges, and we will continue to help businesses secure their systems and networks around the world.