AI hacking of ‘March Madness’ betting to cost US companies record amounts in 2024

AI Hacking

Advizex, a leading technology provider of infrastructure and enterprise application solutions, is warning that, with the rise of AI, cyber-attacks and AI hacking are becoming more sophisticated and frequent. It is estimated that these attacks, and the general loss of productivity from office betting pools, will cost U.S. companies more than $18.3 billion (€16.77bn) in revenue loss this year, up from $17.3bn (€15.86bn) in 2023.

In 2024 cyber-attacks ranging from data breaches to hostile account takeovers are expected to continue to rise from $8 trillion (€7.33tn) to $9.5tn (€8.71tn) globally, according to a new report by Advizex. The rise of AI technology will likely push this cost even higher, with projections suggesting an 11% increase in effectiveness to $10.5tn (€9.65tn) in 2025.

This use of AI, coupled with the significant rise in online sports betting sets the stage for a perfect pick-and-roll opportunity for cybercriminals. During March Madness alone it is estimated that more than $15.5bn (€14.2bn) (from 2023) in betting will take place in 2024, up from only $3.1bn (€2.84bn) in 2022. The online betting market in North America will experience a robust compound annual growth rate of 12.32% from 2024 to 2028.

But hacking isn’t the only foul play experienced by U.S. companies this season, Advizex says. Office pools are a tradition in many workplaces, but the hours spent filling out brackets take a sizeable chunk of productivity out of the workday.

Unlike other U.S. sporting events like the Super Bowl, March Madness takes place over several weeks, providing cybercriminals with a longer timeframe to execute their schemes. It is unique in that it takes place during work hours, increasing the risk of compromising organizational security.

“With employees streaming games or participating in online betting pools using company devices and networks, organizations are vulnerable to a range of cyber threats, from phishing attacks to malware infections,” says Matt Gaudio, VP of Strategy at Advizex.

On average, each data breach caused by hackers cost a U.S. company $9.48m (€8.68m) and it is expected that AI will increase a cybercriminal’s effectiveness in 2024 by 11%.

By staying informed, exercising caution, and implementing proactive cybersecurity measures, fans can navigate the digital terrain of March Madness and legal sports betting with confidence, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience throughout the tournament, Advizex says.

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