Summary of The Economic Impact of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage

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The Economic Impact of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage summary
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Cybercrime and espionage wreak havoc on the global economy. Figuring out the price of cybercrime is a challenge because researchers are faced with incomplete data, skewed surveys and questionable assumptions. James Lewis and Stewart Baker of the Center for Strategic and International Studies built a new model based on real-world analogies that puts the cost to the US economy at $100 billion a year. Though their workings are somewhat opaque, getAbstract recommends their analysis to business leaders who strive to protect their firms from the perils of cybercrime.

About the Authors

James Lewis is a director and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Stewart Baker is a CSIS fellow and a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP.



Attempts to pin down the cost of cybercrime have failed to quantify the loss accurately, and estimates vary widely. Much of the research derives from surveys, which are unreliable. Victims of cybercrime seldom realize the full extent of what criminals have taken, some firms hide their losses, and some losses are difficult to gauge. Moreover, cybercrime is sometimes difficult to define. One way to assess cybercrime is to determine whether the criminal activity would have taken place via traditional means in the absence of the Internet.

A model that estimates the price of cybercrime must take into account “six components...

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