An increasingly digital world is creating more opportunities for cyber criminals

Cybercrime could be costing the global economy as much as $575bn (£342.1bn), according to a report from McAfee and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

In the UK, the report estimated that losses from cybercrime are equal to 0.16% of GDP.

The worst hit country in the study was Germany, where 1.6% of GDP is estimated to be lost to cybercrime. This was closely followed by the Netherlands at 1.5%.

The authors of the report also highlighted the threat to businesses in the event of a cyber breach.

“The most important cost of cybercrime, however, comes from its damage to company performance and to national economies. Cybercrime damages trade, competitiveness, innovation, and global economic growth,” it said.

A growing phenomenon

The report said that cybercrime was regarded as “high reward and low risk”, with many of the major cyber criminals never even identified. This means that more and more people are moving into cybercrime.

An increasingly digital world is also providing more ground for cybercrime expansion, and as companies move online this creates more targets for cyber criminals.

“We do not see a credible scenario in which cybercrime losses diminish. The outlook for the world is increased losses and slower growth,” the report said.