A report has found that cybercrime and cyber espionage drains about $100bn and about half a million jobs from the US economy each year.
The new joint report prepared by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and McAfee revealed that malicious cyber activities do certainly represent what is said to be ‘the greatest transfer of wealth in human history’.
McAfee executive VP and CTO, Mike Fey, said that the CSIS report uses actual economic modelling to build out the figures for the losses attributable to malicious cyber activity.
"Other estimates have been bandied about for years, but no one has put any rigor behind the effort," Fey said. "As policymakers, business leaders and others struggle to get their arms around why cyber security matters, they need solid information on which to base their actions."
The report looped in intellectual property theft, cybercrimes including phishing and text messaging fraud, loss of sensitive business data, service interruptions, security costs and reputational damage.
CSIS Technology and Public Policy Program director, James Lewis, said that the report connects malicious cyber activity with job loss.
"Using figures from the Commerce Department on the ratio of exports to U.S. jobs, we arrived at a high-end estimate of 508,000 U.S. jobs potentially lost from cyber espionage," Lewis said.
"As with other estimates in the report, however, the raw numbers might tell just part of the story. If a good portion of these jobs were high-end manufacturing jobs that moved overseas because of intellectual property losses, the effects could be more wide ranging."