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Cybersecurity Market Growing with Increased Hacking

A specialist works at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia.

A specialist works at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia.

The global cybersecurity market is expected to grow 121 percent in the next five years, says a new study.

The size of the industry will grow from $77 billion in 2015 to $170 billion in 2020, reports the Indian research firm Markets and Markets.

The cybersecurity market is rising at a very fast rate. The digital age has brought a variety of scams. The scams threaten individuals, companies, governments and organizations across the world.

Computer hackers steal credit card numbers, bank account information and tax records from individuals and corporations. Hackers steal credit card information online, then use it to conduct illegal activities. For example, a hacker can buy items online using a stolen name and information.

The cost of these online attacks is huge. The Center for Strategic and International Studies is a policy research group in Washington, D.C. CSIS did a study in 2014 showing that cybercrime costs the global economy about $445 billion each year.

The study found that the world’s biggest economies suffer the greatest losses. The United States, China, Japan and Germany had losses of $200 billion in 2014.

Many companies have had software hacked by cyber criminals. Software tells a computer how to act and what to do. Major companies like Target and General Motors have been hacked.

Individuals can be victims of cybercrime. Identity theft – when someone’s personal information is stolen online -- is one example. There are 15 million victims each year in the U.S. That’s roughly the population of Moscow.

Asher Kotz is a cybersecurity business expert in Fairfax County, Virginia. He said identity theft costs $50 billion each year.

There is also a risk from cyber terrorists. Ted Koppel is a well-known American journalist. He wrote a new book called “Lights Out: A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath.” He writes that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is “not only possible, but likely,” said the publisher’s website.

“The government has no plan” to protect against such an attack, he warned.

Nonetheless, the U.S. government will spend $14 billion on cybersecurity in 2015, said Kotz. This represents 16 percent of the total amount spent globally every year on information technology.

Dan Woolley is general partner of MACH37, a cyber accelerator at the Center for Innovative Technology in Virginia. An accelerator helps new cybersecurity startups and provides funding.

He said threats on the Internet are constant. So new solutions must be devised continually.

Hackers come from all over the world, reported Bloomberg. But the four countries with the most hackers are China, the U.S., Turkey and Russia. Bulgaria and Romania also are centers for computer hackers, reported Reuters. Communist countries invested heavily in technology talent in the 1980s, Reuters said.

International organizations collaborate to fight cybercrime, said Kotz. Governments, universities and investors participate.

The European Union (EU) is focusing on this issue. The EU is a political and economic union of 28 countries.

Guido Landheer is deputy vice minister for foreign trade at the Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Next year, the Netherlands will serve as president of the EU.

“We are putting cybersecurity on the agenda and need cooperation internationally,” Landheer said at the conference.

Other organizations in Europe work with the U.S. on cybersecurity. This includes the Hague Security Delta (HSD) in the Netherlands.

Ida Haisma is director of the HSD. Haisma said the Hague Security Delta is Europe’s largest security group with more than 200 partners. They include corporations, universities and non-profit organizations.

Some U.S. states are targeting cybersecurity as a growth area for their economies. Virginia is one of them.

Many government military agencies are located in Virginia. The region also has the largest presence of data centers in the U.S. and perhaps the planet, one expert said.

I’m Mary Gotschall.

Mary Gotschall wrote this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

Have you or a friend been hacked? Let us know in the Comments section below, or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

cybersecurity – n. the state of being protected or safe from harm while using computer technology

digital – adj. using or characterized by computer technology

challenges – n. a difficult task or problem : something that is hard to do

foil – v. to prevent (something) from happening or being successful

hacker – n. a person who secretly gets access to a computer system in order to get information, cause damage, etc. : a person who hacks into a computer system

scams – n. a dishonest way to make money by deceiving people

software – n. the programs that run on a computer and perform certain functions

aftermath – n. the period of time after a bad and usually destructive event

networks – n. a system of computers and other devices (such as printers) that are connected to each other

devised – v. to invent or plan (something that is difficult or complicated)

accelerator – n. an organization that helps new companies grow faster

agendan. a list of things to be considered or done

dominantadj. more important, powerful, or successful than most or all others

campusn. the area and buildings around a university, college, school, etc.

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