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The “Greatest Threat” Almost No One Is Prepared For

by Chris Wood, Casey Research:

Karen McCarthy never saw the robbers coming.

A successful small business owner, she had recently been in talks to sell her company for a large sum.

Two weeks later, her company was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Over a weekend, thieves had stolen $164,000 out of her business bank account. She didn’t notice the money was missing until Monday.

Using a computer program, the thieves transferred her money to a series of “shell” companies all over the United States.

McCarthy’s bank—which initially assured her they’d replace the lost money—denied any responsibility for the devastating loss and refused to help her.

McCarthy was out of luck… and out of money.

She was the latest victim of cybercrime… a global epidemic that’s costing consumers and businesses hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Today, hackers have sophisticated hacking tools and techniques. They’re now able to breach even the most secure systems to compromise your privacy and steal your information.

Even unskilled individuals can hack into systems now. Today, you can purchase easy-to-use software for a low cost on the “dark web.” This software can get past traditional security solutions like firewalls.

You’re At Risk… Even if You Don’t Use the Internet

Think about it…

Even if you don’t access your checking or savings account online, your account is digital. The bank doesn’t actually hold the cash for your account. If hackers broke into your bank’s computer, they could easily transfer or delete your account balance.

Companies also process and store your credit card information digitally. That means even if you don’t shop online, you can still have your card number stolen.

For example, in 2007, hackers placed software on apparel and home goods company TJX Companies’ network. The hackers stole data from at least 45.7 million customer credit and debit cards. Some numbers were used to make fake credit cards. These were used to buy millions of dollars in expensive electronics from retailers. TJX eventually settled claims against it for an estimated quarter of a billion dollars.

But it’s not just your credit card and bank account you have to worry about…

In 2015, hackers hit Anthem Health, the second-largest health insurance company in the country. The hackers got away with names, birth dates, addresses, employment information, and social security numbers for 78 million people. The reported cost of the breach was nearly $100 million.

According to the 2016 Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, there are about 19 cybercrime victims per second globally. That’s over 1.6 million victims daily. And it’s 594 million victims per year—nearly twice the population of the U.S. That’s compared with 556 million victims last year.

Meanwhile, British insurance company Lloyd’s estimates that cybercrime cost businesses as much as $400 billion a year.

Last year, the Ponemon Institute found that the average annualized cost of cybercrime for the U.S. organizations it surveyed was $15.4 million. That’s a 22% increase over 2014.

As you can see, cyberattacks are growing. And things will likely get worse as our world becomes more connected.

Market research company Juniper Research says cybercrime will cost businesses over $2 trillion a year by 2019. That’s a four-year compound annual growth rate of about 50%.

In short, cybercrime has become an epidemic that’s costing us billions of dollars each year.

The only way to protect information is through increased cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is the market for products and services that prevent and alert users of cybercrime.

The cybersecurity market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 18% from 2015 through 2020. That would take it from a $75-billion-a-year market to a $170-billion-a-year market over the next five years.

Bottom line: If the cybersecurity market isn’t on your radar yet, it should be…

Cybercrime is becoming more common… Companies are spending billions of dollars to defend themselves… And the “smart money” is piling into the industry.

In short, the stage is set for a huge money-making opportunity.

Read More @ CaseyResearch.com

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