Risk And Cost Of Cybercrime

During the most recent visits to our Executive Briefing Center (EBC) in Amsterdam, the C-Level executives I spoke to were increasingly concerned with the sophistication of cyber attacks. And in fact, their concerns are well founded. It is important for organisations to understand that they need to have multiple layers of defense in order to protect all of their treasures, such as: intellectual property, access, trust and reputation.  Therefore at McAfee we have a holistic approach – by securing the endpoint and the network, and managing security with actionable threat intelligence enabling real time analytics.

For an e-commerce firm or a governmental organisation such as online tax payment services, a denial of service (DOS) can quickly cause financial losses. According to various studies and a test run by Tag management supplier Tagman, a one second delay in page-load can cause 7% loss in customer conversions. In addition to the loss, the negative experience discourages people to come back on the site. Moreover the site can then be penalized by Google in search results.

In general, the cost of cybercrime is high. McAfee published a white paper in collaboration with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) titled “The Economic Impact of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage”. Data is incomplete but global estimates vary from $300 billion to $1 trillion. Moreover, cyber espionage and cybercrime may slow the pace of innovation, distort trade, and contribute to creating job losses. The most important area is intellectual property loss. For the UK only, a recent report from the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills shows that 93% of large companies have experience at least one data breach. The costs can be estimated in billions. This is what I tell our customers: “the question is not if you are hacked or not, but when and where.” For all these reasons I am thrilled by the acquisition of Stonesoft and its integration in the McAfee Security Connected platform. While advance evasion techniques are about to break the security posture of many organisations, traditional security models are becoming almost obsolete. Our network security offer with Stonesoft products integrated with our Intrusion Prevention Solution (IPS) product, and our security management console, will provide our customers with a unique level of security.

One of the CIO’s visiting the EBC told me: “It’s tiring; we have a business to run – while attacking us IS the unique business of the bad guys. I have this impression that we are always lagging behind, how can we change that?” I told him that he was right. The critical step is to move from a reactive security posture to a proactive one. It starts with a real time actionable security management platform processing and analyzing all the security data; the information put into context can help to anticipate an event. But this is not enough. It made me think of our McAfee Foundstone practice which offers strategic and technical consulting services including compliance, health checks, incident response and forensics. Implementing strong technologies around our Security Connected portfolio is great, using Foundstone services to check compliance, security posture, and forensics in case of an attack is even better! By concentrating a lot of the world’s energy resources on one hand, and a by developing a fast innovation driven model on the other hand, the Middle East has become a hot spot for cyber attacks. Therefore on September 3rd, in order to help our customers in the region, McAfee will be launching the first Cyber Defense Center (CDC) dedicated to the Middle East. Jan van Vliet, VP Emerging Markets and Patricia Murphy, VP EMEA Professional Services will be joining me for an exclusive event with our customers to celebrate the opening of the CDC. These are exciting new happenings.

Meanwhile let me wish our customers, our partners, and the journalists and analysts we work with on an ongoing basis, a fantastic holiday season. I am looking forward to meeting them when we get back. Let’s recharge our batteries and relax with our families and loved ones. September will be a busy month!


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