US (GN) The total cost of cybercrimes globally will hit $6 trillion by 2021 from $1.2 trillion in 2017, an expert said in Abu Dhabi.

David Young, chief executive officer of Oxford Analytica, an independent geopolitical analysis and advisory firm, said that global industry sector is most vulnerable to cyberattacks.

“Hackers have been more dynamic, quick to adapt technologies than organisations,” he said, during a session on global economic outlook. Hacking, he said, is a very ‘attractive industry’ with the direct and immediate financial returns.

Elaborating on cybersecurity and the findings of surveys and reports, Young said that ransomware will become a major problem this year.

Ransomware attacks grew by 118 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, with threat actors now actively advertising their access to organisations on the ‘dark web’. The roll-out of 5G this year will introduce new vulnerabilities as 5G’s flexible networks are open and programmable - making them targets for malicious actors.

Young said that industries should invest in not just reacting to attacks, but also have systems in place to protect against attacks.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised the world growth forecast to 3.3 per cent from 3.4 per cent, but Young said that even three per cent is seen as ‘desirable’ this year.