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While there is no specific definition for cybercrime, the general understanding is that it is any crime committed or facilitated via the Internet. The Internet has revolutionized the way people, companies and financial institutions perform their day-to-day business, while criminals have found ways to exploit this anonymous, borderless and virtual environment.

The so-called “dark web” has been instrumental in the growth of the cybercrime sector. Its anonymity makes it easier for criminals to share, learn, sell and even trade techniques, attack vectors and vulnerability. There is even evidence of a malware marketplace where cybercrime-as-a-service is offered, with competition among malware vendors driving innovation. Cybercrime has evolved to such an extent that according to an Intel Security commissioned study, it costs the global economy an estimated $400 billion, with approximately 400 million victims and a $113 billion cost to consumers per year.

As cybercrime has grown, so too has the cybersecurity industry. Just like an arms race, criminals develop new attacks while the security industry responds by developing new forms of defenses, leaving consumers – including the public, private sectors and the government – in a constant state of playing catch-up. Consumers were caught flat-footed as nobody foresaw cybercrime’s transformation into a full-fledged industry with business models generating attractive total costs of ownership – ROIs for their investors.

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