The internet becomes more vital to our economy, security and our private lives every day. However, that means protecting systems that use the internet and the internet itself has taken on critical importance. Here are just a few statistics to ponder:
- Internet commerce accounted for $684 Billion or 4.7% of all U.S. economic activity in 2010 (CNN, March 2012)
- In 2011 Symantec placed the cost of Global Cyber Crime at $114 Billion annually ($388 Billion when you factor in downtime)
-107 trillion -- The number of emails sent on the Internet in 2010
- 294 billion -- Average number of email messages per day (Royal.pingdom.com)
- Over 845 million Facebook users worldwide, 50% logging in daily, averaging 130 friends, conversing in 70 languages (Facebook.com)
- Twitter has over 100 million active users worldwide, half of whom log in daily (blog.verticalresponse.com)
- 461 million mobile phones and tablets sold in 2011 (www.indefenseofdata.com/)
These statistics underscore how important the internet is to our economy and our families. Every day, U.S. businesses are targeted by nation-state actors like China and Russia for cyber exploitation and theft, resulting in huge losses of valuable property and sensitive information. This rampant industrial espionage costs American jobs.
When these hackers steal intellectual property, they take new, high-paying jobs right along with it. Estimates of loss from economic espionage are hard to make, but range up to $400 billion a year. Just as important, many of the same vulnerabilities used to steal intellectual property can be used to attack the critical infrastructure we depend on every day.
Recommended Reading: Experts told Congress this week thatIran is recruiting a hacker army to target the U.S. power grid, water systems and other vital infrastructure for a cyberattack in a future confrontation with the United States.