A report just issued by information-security analyst firm, Cybersecurity Ventures, estimates that cybercrime will double within just five years, reaching $6-trillion annually by 2012, up from an expected $3-trillion this year.

The new report, entitled Hackerpocalypse: A Cybercrime Revelation, also notes that nearly half of all cyber-attacks being launched today target small businesses. (To learn how to better secure your small business please see the article, 13 Tips to Achieve Great Cybersecurity Without Spending a Fortune.)

Losses to cybercrime include not only stolen money and information, but the cost of addressing damage and destruction to systems and data, as well as lost productivity, reputational harm, and other harm inflicted by criminals operating online.

One of the reasons that cybercrime damage is increasing rapidly is that there are an increasing number of "things" that are now computerized and/or connected to the Internet; a decade ago nearly all cyber-attacks targeted computers and network equipment, today smartphones also make ideal targets, as do the rapidly growing number of connected "Internet of Things" devices. Our parents did not need to worry about their first cars being hacked, for example, our children certainly will need to.

Other key findings from the report include:

The best way to protect yourself against the rising tide of cybercrime is to be prepared. Please see the article 13 Tips to Achieve Great Cybersecurity Without Spending a Fortune for some tips.