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Information technology offers unprecedented opportunities to individuals, businesses and the public sector but also creates new vulnerabilities to crime. Impressive cybercrimes have been reported in the media in recent years, demonstrating the grave harm that even a single cyberattack can cause. Yet no systematic assessment of the impact of cybercrime on Belgian society and economy had been conducted until the start of the research project Belgian Cost of Cybercrime (BCC) in 2013, which was funded by the Belgian Service Science Policy Office (BELSPO) and coordinated by the KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP), in collaboration with the KU Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC).
Building on that large multidisciplinary project, the book assesses the impact of cybercrime on businesses based in Belgium, drawing from a thorough conceptualization of both cybercrime and its impact. Using data collected through two surveys sent to more than 9,000 representatives of Belgian businesses, the authors report that most of the responding businesses are confronted with at least one type of cybercrime every year and some of them suffer serious harm from these incidents. Lastly, the book calls for the identification and implementation of effective preventive measures targeting the different types of cybercrime.