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Data Breach Costs to Soar to $2.1 Trillion

The rapid digitization of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019.

That’s according to Juniper Research, which found in a recent study that breach costs will increase to almost four times the estimated cost of breaches in 2015. And, the average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million by 2020, as more business infrastructure gets connected.

The research, entitled ‘The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Financial and Corporate Threats & Mitigation’, has found that the majority of these breaches will come from existing IT and network infrastructure. While new threats targeting mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being reported at an increasing rate, the number of infected devices is minimal in comparison to more traditional computing devices.

The report also highlights the increasing professionalism of cybercrime, with the emergence of cybercrime products (i.e. sale of malware creation software) over the past year, as well as the decline in casual activist hacks. Hacktivism has become more successful and less prolific—in future, Juniper expects fewer attacks overall, but more successful ones.

“Currently, we aren’t seeing much dangerous mobile or IoT malware because it’s not profitable,” noted report author James Moar. “The kind of threats we will see on these devices will be either ransomware, with consumers’ devices locked down until they pay the hackers to use their devices, or as part of botnets, where processing power is harnessed as part of a more lucrative hack. With the absence of a direct payout from IoT hacks, there is little motive for criminals to develop the required tools.”

In terms of geography, nearly 60% of anticipated data breaches worldwide in 2015 will occur in North America, the firm said, but this proportion will decrease over time as other countries become both richer and more digitized.

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