Cybercrime is costing the global economy up to $450 billion annually, a new report by Hamilton Place Strategies reveals.

The paper, entitled Cybercrime Costs More Than You Think, opens by stating that: “In an increasingly interconnected world fueled by the expansion of digital technology, cybercrime has become a big business.”

The document finds that the median cost of cybercrime has actually increased by approximately 200% in the last five years alone, and that it is very likely to continue in that vein.

One of the more intriguing revelations was that while cybercrime is often attributed to a significant financial cost, the “reputational damage can be even more impactful to the bottom line”.

The concept of a “ricochet effect” was also revealed, whereby merely sharing an industry with a victim of cybercrime can have a detrimental effect on a business.

One key example being the Target data breach, which brought into question the vulnerability of other similar retailers across the country.

The report also reveals that had cybercrime been a ‘legitimate’ enterprise US industry, it would have been the second largest behind Apple.

Hamilton Place Strategies suggest a number of safeguards to help minimize losses in the unfortunate case of a cyberattack.

One recommendation is to “create a playbook”. The idea centers on organizations putting in place a cybersecurity plan.

The report also warns that “if you’re in business today, it’s nearly a guarantee you’ll be hacked at some point over the next couple of years”, which makes these findings all the more significant.