Press release

Report released into the cost of cyber crime

A 2011 report by Detica and the Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance has made an estimate for the cost of cyber crime.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The overall cost to the UK economy from cyber crime is £27 billion per year, according to the first joint government and industry report into the extent and cost of cyber crime across the UK, launched today by the Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance in the Cabinet Office and information intelligence experts Detica.

This report is dated February 2011. For a more recent assessment of the cost, read Cyber crime: a review of the evidence.

With society now almost entirely dependent on cyber space, developing effective strategies to tackle cyber crime requires a better understanding of its impact. Its breadth and scale have been notoriously difficult to understand and past attempts to set cyber crime policy or develop strategies have been hampered by a real lack of insight into the problem.

“The Cost of Cyber Crime” report reveals that whilst government and the citizen are affected by rising levels of cyber crime, at an estimated £2.2 billion and £3.1 billion cost respectively, business bears the lion’s share of the cost. The report indicates that, at a total estimated cost of £21 billion, over three-quarters of the economic impact of cyber crime in the UK is felt by business.  In all probability, and in line with worst-case scenarios, the real impact of cyber crime is likely to be much greater.

The Rt Hon Baroness Neville-Jones, Minister of State for Security, comments:

The government recently announced our commitment to working in partnership with the private sector to increase our cyber security. It is both a national security and commercial priority and both sides need to work together to strengthen our existing resilience. This report is an important example of how government and industry are working together to tackle specific threats posed by criminal use of the internet and highlights the opportunity we have to turn this to our advantage and get ahead of the curve to drive our economic growth and prosperity.

Martin Sutherland, Detica’s Managing Director, comments:

As crime’s gone digital, this report estimates for the first time the real cost of cyber crime to the UK. By understanding that business bears the burden of over three-quarters of the £27 billion cost of cyber crime, we are better placed to defend and protect assets crucial to every business sector in today’s interconnected marketplace.

The next step is to formulate a more targeted response to IP theft and industrial espionage in particular. We must mobilise joint government and industry forces to build a coherent picture of the threat and create a consistent mechanism that will allow businesses to report cyber crime without the risk of reputational damage.

The Cost of Cyber Crime report

Published 17 February 2011