Cybercrime: it’s expensive, stressful and can have a huge negative impact on your brand. The costs of cybercrime worldwide have risen 200% in the past five years, according to a cybercrime prevention report by Hamilton Place Strategies, and will continue to rise.
The report states: “In an increasingly interconnected world fuelled by the expansion of digital technology, cybercrime has become a big business” – one which is costing the global economy up to $450 billion annually. 
The stakes in the quest for better, more effective cybersecurity could not be higher. While significant financial costs can result from cybercrime, the “reputational damage can be even more impactful.” The immediate cost of a cyber-attack is already high but an organisation can experience even greater costs when customers question the security of their data.
The growing cybersecurity threat is everywhere
“If you’re in business today, it’s nearly a guarantee you’ll be hacked at some point,” – that’s one of the findings from the Hamilton Place Strategies report, which highlights the cost of cybercrime. 
The numbers below, which look at the cybersecurity industry during 2017, seem to reinforce that statement and indicate what’s in store for the next five years: 
- Cybercrime damage costs are predicted to hit a whopping $6 trillion annually by 2021.
- Global spending on cybersecurity products and services are predicted to exceed $1 trillion over the five-year period from 2017 to 2021.
- Cybercrime will more than triple the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs, which is predicted to reach 3.5 million by 2021.
- Global ransomware damage costs are predicted to exceed $5 billion in 2017. That’s up from $325 million in 2015 – a 15X increase in two years, and is expected to worsen. Ransomware attacks on healthcare organisations, the most cyber-attacked industry, are predicted to quadruple by 2020. 
- It’s estimated that a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds by 2019. 
Clearly, the issue of cybercrime prevention needs to be addressed.
Changing online behaviour is vital to maintain cybercrime prevention
Cybersecurity has been brought to the forefront recently due to the European Union’s new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) policies , helping to ensure that there is a high level of network and information security across organisations operating in the EU.
Building a culture of cyber-awareness best practices via engaged employees is vital.
Which is why we created the award-winning cybersecurity learning game Zero Threat.
Interactive gameplay can educate workers on the risks of cyber-attacks
To go beyond simply raising awareness, drive home the dangers of cybersecurity threats and focus on achieving real behavioural change, we worked alongside learning game experts Preloaded, a BAFTA-winning applied-games studio, adept at making games with purpose.
Preloaded uses games to deliver transformational goals such as learning new skills, changing behaviour, diagnosing conditions and improving kinesthetic and cognitive function. “Employee behaviour will be the strongest defence you have against cyber-attacks. Zero Threat allows your employees to emotionally experience the consequences of poor decision-making in the safety of a simulated environment. This increases the chances of them making the right decisions as they go about their day-to-day roles,” says Eukleia’s Chief Strategy Officer, Kate Lander.
Keeping cybercrime prevention simple
Simulating the real-life relationship between incoming threats and mitigating actions in an engaging format leads to behaviour change and positive habit-building.
To play Zero Threat, learners are placed in control of a network made up of both technology and people, full of valuable data which the learner must protect from relentless cyberthreats. These threats are based on real cybercriminal tactics such as social engineering and phishing. To stop them, the learner must ‘play’ countermeasures, and these too are based closely on the security measures employees need to take on the job.
Every action players take in the game is associated with cybersecurity “good practice”. Visual effects provide instant feedback. The interaction is incredibly straightforward but takes time to master, inviting learners to replay in pursuit of higher scores, bringing them into repeated contact with the full range of learning content.
By integrating gameplay and learning, Zero Threat is able to keep learners playing and help them to build good cybersecurity habits that are directly applicable in their day-to-day work environment.
Don’t fall victim to cybercrime. To ensure your employees are adept at recognising and dealing with cyberthreats, email email@example.com for more info or a free trial.