The findings come amid a series of cyber attacks on key global firms, leading to millions of dollars in damages and sparking numerous investigations.
Cybercrime has cost the global economy over $1tn USD in 2020, or 1 percent total global gross domestic product (GDP), a shock report from Atlas VPN revealed on Monday as reported by Techradar.
According to the findings, global GDP lost $945bn in 2020 due to cybersecurity breaches along with an additional $145bn to boost cybersecurity efforts, a 50 percent jump compared $600bn in 2018.
Organisations were also highly underprepared against cybercriminals, adding on in five firms had no prevention plans, the report said, citing data from a McAfee report published in December 2020.
Japanese firms were the worst at preventing cybercrime, with only 4 percent of organisations having planning against attacks.
“No organization is completely immune to cyberattacks, while their consequences can be devastating. Therefore, both preventive and reactive cybersecurity strategies are essential if a company wants to mitigate cybercrime risks. Having an action plan should your organization get hacked is just as important as safeguarding it against such threats,” Rachel Welch, chief operating officer at Atlas VPN said in a statement.
The report comes after US telco Verizon found that cybercriminals were motivated by financial gain rather than espionage in 2019, citing analyses of over 32,000 security breaches and nearly 4,000 confirmed attacks in 81 countries.
International police coordination agency Interpol also warned in December last year that organised criminals may sell fake COVID-19 vaccines amid the ongoing pandemic, leading to further disruptions in vaccine supply chains.
Software information and technology (IT) firm SolarWinds was also hit by a major malware attack in the same period, exposing personal data from firms and government agencies globally due to vulnerabilities in the company’s Orion platform.
The leaks compromised data from the US Department of Justice, Microsoft, Cisco, Nvidia and Deloitte, among others, and was blamed on “likely Russian” cybercriminals, without going into further detail.
UK carrier British Airways (BA) was also hit with a massive security breach in 2018, leading to a nearly £3bn customer settlement order after regulators slapped the airline with a £20m penalty for violating GDPR rules.