Juniper: Data Breach Costs Will Skyrocket by 2019

By Edward Gately

Juniper Research forecasts data breach costs skyrocketing beyond $2 trillion globally by 2019, nearly four times the estimated cost of breaches this year.

Its report, titled “The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Financial & Corporate Threats & Mitigation,” found that most breaches will come from existing IT and network infrastructure. The anticipated jump in data breach costs is attributed to the rapid digitization of consumers’ lives and enterprise records.

While new threats targeting mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being reported at an increasing rate, the number of infected devices is minimal compared to more traditional computing devices.

Nearly 60 percent of anticipated data breaches this year globally will occur in North America, but this proportion will decrease over time as other countries become wealthier and more digitized, according to the report.

In addition, as more business infrastructure gets connected, the average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million by 2020.

The report highlights the increasing professionalism of cybercrime with the emergence of cybercrime products, such as malware creation software, as well as a decline in casual activist hacks, or the subversive use of computers or computer networks to promote a political agenda.

Juniper expects fewer, but more successful activist hacks in the future.

“Currently, we aren’t seeing much dangerous mobile or IoT malware because it’s not profitable,” said James Moar, the report’s author. “The kind of threats we will see on these devices will be either ransomware, with consumers’ devices locked down until they pay the hackers to use their devices, or as part of botnets, where processing power is harnessed as part of a more lucrative hack. With the absence of a direct payout from IoT hacks, there is little motive for criminals to develop the required tools.”

Leading over-the-top (OTT) players such as Apple, Google and Amazon were in a favorable position to capitalize on this transition, with each now offering cloud-based services for both personal storage and premium content access, according to the report.

The report argues that if consumers are tied into multiple products from an OTT, they become increasingly reluctant to move away from one element of the brand, as they lose access to content across their devices.

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