The drive to digitize and connect just about everything on the planet promises all sorts of increased efficiencies and revolutionary new services.
But these great leaps forward will come at a price. According to a new report from Juniper Research, the annual costs of data breaches will quadruple by 2019 to $2.1 trillion.
Many of these attacks will be directed at the legacy networks and gadgets already in place, but it will be accelerated by the expanding use of mobile devices and so-called Internet of Things devices.
With more people and businesses sharing more stuff online, the size and scope of digital data is exploding in value. And that in turn means that shadow criminal organizations as well as countries are investing huge sums in hiring and equipping teams of hackers.
This professionalization of cybercrime is likely here to stay, said Juniper.
For the moment, the return on investment for hacking IoT systems is not as great, and so these may not be the main targets. That will likely change a few years down the road as more stuff is connected.
“With the absence of a direct payout from IoT hacks, there is little motive for criminals to develop the required tools,” said report author James Moar in a statement.
Some other factoids to keep you awake at night:
- About 60 percent of data breaches in 2015 will be in North America.
- That percentage should decrease over time as more countries around the globe get connected.
- By 2020, the average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million.