Global cost of cybercrime topped $6 trillion in 2021, says defense firm

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 11 2022 05:25 AM

A man uses his mobile phone EPA-EFE
A man uses his mobile phone in the shopping mall in Shanghai, January 5, 2022. China's cyber regulatory body on January 5 released draft rules governing mobile apps requiring security reviews that might affect national security. Alex Plavevski, EPA-EFE

The global cost of cybercrime topped $6 trillion last year, as the coronavirus pandemic caused online activity to soar, the head of Italian defense, security and aerospace giant Leonardo said Tuesday.

"New cybersecurity threats over the last two years have been a 'collateral damage' of the COVID-19 pandemic and the acceleration of digitalization it induced," Alessandro Profumo said at the opening of the Cybertech Europe 2022 conference in Rome.

"Cyberattacks have grown in number, sophistication and impact -- in 2021 the global cost of cybercrime exceeded $6 trillion."

The figures came from Clusit, the Italian association for information security, and compare to an estimate of losses of $1 trillion in 2020.

One fifth of the total attacks was directed at Europe, Profumo said, but the continent lacked at least 200,000 cybersecurity professionals.

Speaking to foreign journalists in Rome last month, he said cybersecurity issues had increased following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"We are noticing additional pressure," said the boss of Leonardo, which has a specialized branch dedicated to cybersecurity.