Cybersecurity is one of those subjects that is always on the cutting edge of technology. As such, a lot of its basic concepts are poorly understood by the general public. Not only that, but the general public also tends to underestimate the threat posed by hackers and the like. The costs of ignoring these threats can be very high, indeed. With that in mind, let’s look at a few important statistics on this subject.
A Cyberattack Happens Every 39 Seconds
Everyone knows that hacking and other cyberattacks are very common these days, but not many have tried to quantify it with definite figures. Thankfully, we found this study from the University of Maryland that attempted to do so. The researchers set up four Linux computers with minimal security and recorded all sorts of hacking attempts.
On average, the computers in the study were attacked or probed 2,244 times per day. The study found that most of the attacks were carried out using automated “brute force” tools that are able to crack passwords. Thankfully, these sorts of tools only work against weak/short passwords, and that’s why hackers have to troll around for an easy mark.
Average Cost Of A High-Profile Breach: $116,000,000
Everyone knows that data breaches can be expensive and that the reputational damage caused by such attacks can be even worse. According to this report, these breaches might be even more expensive than you would think. They found that the average cost of a data breach at a publicly-traded company was around $116 million. To be fair, these numbers are not accurate for small businesses, but they do give you a good idea of how much damage these people really cause. Incidentally, the report also found an increase of 54% in overall data breaches since 2017.
95% Of All Data Breaches Happened In Just Three Industries
This statistic comes from a Forrester report that was published in 2016. The original study is paywalled (and highly expensive), so you can read a summary of its findings here. As you can see, the vast majority of all data breaches in 2016 happened within one of three industries: Government, retail, and tech. Based on this, we can see that these are the most appealing targets for hackers.
Governments are targeted because they often have more money than private companies, and are probably easier to pressure since they are more accountable to the public. Some others also probably target them for political reasons. Retail and tech are probably targeted because of the large amounts of customer data that they tend to keep.
External Threats Are Far More Common
When you are attempting to guard yourself against cyber-threats, there are two main categories of them: The insider threat and the outsider threat. Many would assume that the insider threat is the more common, as infiltration allows an intruder to penetrate security measures more easily. However, it would seem that it isn’t like that after all. According to this cybersecurity study from Verizon, insider threats only account for about 30% of all data breaches. The other 70% were listed as “external,” so this is clearly the more common method.
The United States Seems More Likely To Be Targeted
There are many groups that have published statistics about the number of people hacked annually. However, many of those do not break the statistics down by country. When we look at this report, we can see a trend that is very disturbing for those in the United States. In terms of monetary loss, The U.S. suffered about $27.4 million in losses from cyberattacks in 2018, which is a significant increase from the $21.2 million lost in 2017. For comparison, the second spot on the list went to Japan, with a total of 13.6 million in 2018 losses($10.4 million in 2017).
Most Hackers Just Want Money
It seems that there is a lot of paranoia these days about state-sponsored hackers. Because all governments have to be worried about the possibility of espionage, this is a natural concern. However, the data would seem to indicate that state-level hacking is not the norm. Let’s go back to that Verizon report that we examined earlier. According to their numbers, 86% of all cyber attacks were financially motivated. Thus, we can see that most hackers are after money rather than being motivated by sociopolitical or personal goals.
Data Breaches Also Affect The Stock Market
When a company has a high-profile data breach, it tends to damage their reputation. Customers count on these large companies to keep their data safe, and it represents a breach of trust for many. Not surprisingly, this loss of customer confidence can be seen reflected in the stock market prices for affected companies.
This report from Comparitech found that the lowest point occurred about 14 days after the breach itself. Share prices were generally lowered by 7.27%. Thankfully, those prices had a tendency to rebound after a month or so, but that still represents a lot of lost money.
Most Breaches Happen Because Of Human Error
When you read all of these stats, it is easy to think that computers and the internet are impossible to secure. Thankfully, this does not seem to be the case. According to this report (and quite a few others), about 95% of all data breaches are caused by human error.
When something like this happens, it might seem natural to blame the IT department. However, hackers tend to attack the weakest link they can find, which usually tends to be a low-level employee. Competent IT support and services are one good way to mitigate the human factor, leading many companies to ask, “who offers the best managed IT services near me?”
Of course, there are all kinds of statistics on cybersecurity. There are so many that we could literally list them all day long, but no one has time to read all of that. We hope that you have enjoyed this article and that you will take a few minutes to fill out the contact form.