Cyber Crime Quadruples Costing American Business Billions –  Headed to Trillions in Losses

Cyber Crime Quadruples Costing American Business Billions – 

Headed to Trillions in Losses

BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois launched a new initiative to help crack down on the surging epidemic of cyber crime against businesses.

The U.S. Government has identified cyber crime as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation, with a global estimated cost of $400 billion. Forbes reported from 2013 to 2015 cyber crime costs quadrupled. Experts predict those numbers will only continue to rise with costs estimated to reach over $2 trillion worldwide by 2019, according to Forbes.   


The odds of a cyber-attack are 1 in 4 for businesses of less than 25 employees and 1 in 3 for businesses of 25 or more employees. Experts say the United States is probably the biggest and softest target with the majority of businesses willing to pay the ransom cyber criminals demand. Specifically, 64 percent of Americans cave in to digital extortion, compared to 34 percent globally. The average ransom spiked 266 percent, with criminals demanding an average of $1,077 per victim, according to Symantec, BBB’s strategic partner in the fight against cybercrime.


A new BBB study found that a whopping 77% of small business owners believe their company is not at risk for cyber-threats. To address these staggering figures, BBB partnered with the National Cybersecurity Alliance to compile a group of local experts that can educate and arm business owners.


„Cybersecurity is a growing concern for individuals and businesses,” says Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois. „While Information about cybersecurity can be overwhelming, we want to bring in experts to help our business owners create an approachable plan for protection before a data breach happens.”

The next free cyber crime workshop will be held on July 21 at 9:30am at City Hall on the 8th floor. Anyone representing any Chicagoland business is welcome to attend. Please email [email protected] to register.


BBB considers the developing information about the threat of cyber crime so important that it held a cyber crime speakers event on May 2. This event sparked a series of requests for more speakers. BBB’s Cyber Crime speaker cover all facets of cyber crime from cyber insurance to cyber law, and strategies to prevent and develop a plan to deal with the rapid escalation of attacks which includes BBB 5 Steps to Better Business Cybersecurity Training.

BBB has met with high level organizations in Washington D.C. and a series of agencies in a joint effort to assemble a panel that consists of the highest level of experts in the field of cyber crime. Our experts are available to go out and speak to community groups and businesses to help create a culture of cyber security.  

Cyber Crime in American Business Facts: 

  • In 2015, 43%of all cyber crimes were directed at small businesses, according to Symantec.
  • Cyber crime threats to small business is a huge concern to the overall economy with small businesses making up 7%of U.S. employer firms, according to SBA.
  • Various studies show cyber-attacks cost an average of $32,021for firms whose business banking accounts were hacked, $7,115 on average for small businesses overall, and as much as $188,242 for a small or midsize business.
  • 7 of 10businesses consider it unlikely that their business will suffer a cyber-attack. (e.g. phishing resulting in stolen credentials, ransomware, etc.) 
  • Many businesses also believe their bank will cover losses of cyber crime, which is not true. The burden of proof lies with businesses concerning losses due to cyber crime.


Any businesses encountering any attempts of cyber crime please report it immediately to our cyber crime team at [email protected] You can also contact our team via email if you would like to book our cyber crime experts to come out and speak at your organization/audience of 25 people or more.


Search our databases anytime at no cost to find trustworthy businesses and valuable consumer information. Visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Chicago and Northern Illinois serves 19 counties in Illinois.