There’s a storm brewing and most people remain blissfully unaware of its true potential impact and the danger lurking just around the corner.

Recently, a World Economic Forum (WEF) report revealed the world’s political and business leaders feel a “catastrophic cyber event” will take place within the next few years.

Just 8 years ago, the cybercrime industry was estimated to be in the $3 trillion range. By 2025, that estimated valuation is projected to be closer to $10.5 trillion.

$10.5 trillion is more than the annual global automobile market, oil and gas production revenue, legitimate information technology industry, life and health insurance, and even commercial real estate.

The only two industries outpacing cybercrime to deliver bigger numbers? Construction and financial services.

Viewing it in comparison to the world’s countries, cybercrime would be the third largest producer, behind only the United States and China.

That means cybercrime would account for approximately one tenth of the world’s roughly $100 trillion annual economy and be nearly double that of its closest competitor, Japan (~$5 trillion annually).

It’s a scary trend compounded by an unstable geopolitical climate according to the WEF’s managing director, Jeremy Jurgens, in his recent remarks during a press conference on the state of cybercrime and 2023 outlook.

Jürgen Stock, Secretary-General of Interpol, cited “reluctancy” as a major contributor to the increasingly harmful impact of cybercrime. Companies and states are less likely to report these digital deficiencies for fear of looking vulnerable publicly among other factors.

So just how bad could things get if this “catastrophic” cyberattack takes place? What could happen if the “bad actors” within cybercrime circles coordinate an attack to disrupt the world’s systems?

Edi Rama, Albania’s prime minister, likened the devastation to that of the COVID-19 pandemic, but amplified: “It’s about viruses that can not only block our way of living, but can control it and deviate it.”

The good news?

Interpol was able to successfully intercept $215 million in would-be cybercrime proceeds in 2022 including a recent 14-country, 4-continent effort resulting in 75 arrests and the identification of 70 other suspects while capturing more than $1 million from bank accounts belonging to cybercriminals.

The bottom line? It’ll take an enhanced and increased effort by global powers and a large awareness push to bring cybersecurity to the forefront of paramount importance and focus.

That trend is already in motion in the U.S. as companies seek to align their financial well being with their cyber threat readiness and look to spend more money on cybersecurity SaaS offerings in 2023 than ever before while simultaneously positioning security as a top priority when looking at vendors in general.