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‘Global cyber-crime now worth $1trn’

By Prince Osuagwu, in Limpopo, South Africa

LIMPOPO (SOUTH AFRICA)—Global internet security hackers are growing a negative cyber-crime market estimated at over $1trillion dollars.

This is even as the internet security market itself is valued at about $95 billion with a compound Growth Rate, CAGR, of 8.4 per cent between 2015 and 2018.

Cisco’s Head of architecture and engineering for emerging markets, Mr Den Sullivan made the revelation yesterday at the One Africa Partner Forum in Limpopo, South Africa.

Sullivan who delivered a paper titled: “Serious about security: Cisco security innovations fuel growth” said that hacking has become a big industry.

crime-cyberHe said: “I think the term industrialization is the perfect description for what is going on in the market. It connotes the mechanization, the sophistication of a highly organized adversary.”

Sullivan identified the actors in the hacking business as nation states, hacktivists and cyber criminals, whose focus are government to government hacking and country to industry hacking.

Hacktivists are anonymous groups who use their social and political agendas as the motivation for their hacking while cyber criminals have achieved some level of sophistication that is unparalleled in history.

Sullivan said: “They have software development and quality teams, they own every piece of security software in the market and develop very effective evasion techniques to exploit vulnerabilities. All of these adversaries are well financed; intelligent, sophisticated and very motivated. This is what we are up against.

“I think the figure of $95 billion estimated security market falls far short of the true opportunity, but it is a market where Cisco is truly going big. We have hired over 1, 000 engineers in this field in the last few months and we are still hiring more engineers.

“Back in the 90’s, attacks were very simple  – viruses and worms, and web defacing but today, the attackers have been increasing their sophistication, to the extent that our customers are facing apps or the advanced persistent, targeted threats.”


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