The escalating threat from cyberattacks and the resources required to fight them is well known to transport authorities, and more than ever organisations are seeking to prevent potentially catastrophic unauthorised access to their systems. Only last year, Maersk revealed that its finances had been hit to the tune of more than £215m ($300m) following a Trojan-style attack.
It will surely shock many that the predicted financial repercussions felt globally by such cyberattacks are predicted to exceed the trillion-pound mark by 2020. Or, to be more precise, £2.41tn if Microsoft president and chief legal officer, Brad Smith, is to be believed. That incredible figure (around 2.5 times the worth of the world’s most public company ever, Apple) has been thoughtfully aggregated in a blog by Josh Wardini with many more jaw-dropping stats that illustrate the significance of cybercrime.
Named 77 Facts About Cyber Crimes One Should Know in 2018, the blog has been put together by Bestvpns.co.uk to espouse the benefits of the virtual private network (VPN), which that enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks, but in the process has shone a light on some pretty remarkable numbers. Calling on sources including Accenture, IBM-run portal Security Intelligence, Huffington Post, Cybersecurity Ventures and eweek.com, and featuring rich and eye-catching illustrations, Wardini showed that the variety of attack that affected Maersk’s operations, malware, is the most common form of the genre, with the average cost totalling in the region of £1.7m ($2.4m). £150m ($209m) was paid to ransomware criminals in 2016.
What is clear from the data is that there’s a concerted commitment from those organisations at risk – exemplified by the fact that more than £6.5bn was spent on information security worldwide in 2016. However, despite such efforts to thwart hackers it’s clearly not enough. In Transport Security World’s sister title, SmartRail World, Lies Alderlieste-de Wit, chief information security officer at Nederlandse Spoorwegen, The Netherlands’ primary transport operator, echoed the belief that modern-day systems weren’t up to the task. “The top 10 software programming mistakes that made our website vulnerable to hacks are pretty much the same as 10 years ago,” said Alderlieste-de Wit.
And it’s not just vast multinationals that are open to attack, the infographic from self-confessed internet enthusiast, Wardini, reproduced the worrying statistic that 75% of all mobile apps would fail even basic tests on its cyber security – potentially opening up those using such apps to attack.
Inevitably there will be conjecture from different corners on the level of impact, but surely what they’ll all agree on are the rising costs that go hand in hand with fighting this 21st century threat. The infographic quotes Accenture figures that estimate that cybersecurity costs increase at a rate of 22.7% a year. Add to that the average salary of a certified security professional at salaries often in excess of £100,000 a year and it’s clear to see that despite the obvious value that state-of-the-art computer systems add, there is also major cost implications as well.