Additional costs incurred and revenue lost as a result of cybercrime could cost businesses as much as $5.2 trillion over the next five years, as businesses struggle to protect their increasingly complex internet-enabled business models.

That is according to a recent Security the Digital Economy: Reinventing the Internet for Trust report published by Accenture, based on a survey of 1,700 CEOs and other C-level executives. The report explores the difficulties that businesses face in an increasingly technological world.

The technology industry alone faces $750bn worth of risk. However, with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence impacting a range of industries, most are at risk of falling victim to cybercriminals. The life sciences and automotive industries are thought to be the second and third most at risk, with cybercrime potentially costing the industry $642bn and $505bn respectively.

Businesses face being left behind if they don’t invest in emerging technologies. A recent study found that businesses need to adapt within the first three years in order to gain the greatest advantages. However, at the same time, 79% of C-level executives believe that their businesses are implementing emerging technologies faster than they are able to address the security issues that come with it. Likewise, 76% admitted that recent implementations had resulted in such issues.

Losses incurred will be result in approximately 2.8% in lost revenue grown annually for large global businesses, while the majority of respondents believe that lacking internet security could hinder the advancement of the digital economy.

“Internet security is lagging behind the sophistication of cybercriminals and is leading to an erosion of trust in the digital economy,” said Omar Abbosh, Group Chief Executive for Communications, Marketing and Technology at Accenture.

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By GlobalData

Kelly Bissell, senior managing director of Accenture Security, said: “The internet wasn’t build with today’s level of complexity and connectivity in mind, which is why it takes just one click – whether inside or outside the company walls – to fall prey to a devastating cyberattack.”

Accenture’s report follows the WEF Global Risk Report 2019 published ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos next week, which found that cybersecurity posed the fifth greatest threat to the world.

A collective effort

Interestingly, very few organisations believe that they alone can do enough to safeguard against cybercrime. Instead, 75% of respondents stated that it would require an organised group effort, including stricter regulations on businesses, in order to tackle the growing problem.

“No organisation can tackle the challenges posed by cyber threats on its own; it’s a global challenge that needs a global response, and collaboration is key,” said Bissell.

“To shape a future that thrives on a strong and trustworthy digital economy, senior executives need to look beyond the bounds of their organisation, team with an ecosystem of partners, and secure their entire value chains – across every partner, supplier and customer.”