Despite cyber security being one of the top three global economic concerns in most developed countries, it continues to be sidelined by most companies. Cybercrime costs over USD$445 billion globally and the figures continue to rise, expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2021.
With increasing digitization and interconnectedness of networks, cyber dependence is becoming a profound phenomenon. Users are increasingly making use of the latest cloud technologies with the intention of enhancing productivity and efficiencies. At the same time, it elevates the risk of a cyber-breach given the ease with which hackers can gain access to these systems and compromise sensitive information.
Here are some statistics about companies that explains how cyber security, although a pressing concern, is sidelined in business objectives, unwittingly resulting in costly breaches.
- Human error is the number one cause of cyber security breaches. Different researchers quantify this risk differently; however, there is unanimous agreement that human error is by far the most important reason for cyber breaches. According to the IT Policy Compliance Group, 75% of data loss is caused by human error. Aberdeen Group estimates it at 64% while CompTIA estimates it at 52%.
- In 2015, there were nine mega cyber security breaches and at least 113 unreported incidents of cybercrime. The total number of compromised identities was over 429 million.
- Almost three-quarters of genuine websites are inadequately built to counter cyber-attacks.
- Ransomware is on the rise. Hackers demand hefty sums of money to withdraw their access to company information. By 2015, it had grown by 35%.
- The cybercrime conducted in 2013 against Target, the leading retail chain in the US, compromised over 40 million customers and their private banking information. Target had just implemented the state-of-the-art security system and was ahead of the game where cyber security is concerned. Despite their considerable effort, the mega chain had to sustain a massive blow, tarnishing their reputation forever.
- 72% bankers report cyber security as their top concern. Banking institutions are directly and indirectly the most lucrative industry for hackers. Recently, an organized cybercrime group based in Eastern Europe was able to siphon off $1 billion in 2 years from 100 different banks in 30 countries by sending spear phishing emails to bank employees.
- The biggest cybercrime of the decade was unveiled in August 2016. Yahoo Inc. was allegedly hacked in 2014. The number of compromised records was up to 500 million.
- Over 230,000 malware are released every day. In fact malware is one of the most popular ways in which hackers act to gain access inside a company’s IT systems.
- 99% of all computers are at risk. All it takes is a single click on a malicious link and the hacker will be able to gain access to all your information.
- Although 61% of the C-suite in companies globally worries about cybercrime, only 54% have employed CISO to take care of this issue.
- 78% of the IT professionals are ill-informed about how to tackle cyber security issues pertaining to theft of digital certificates and encryption keys. Not only this, 64% believe they will not be able to tackle an attack in a timely fashion.
- Cyber skills shortage is increasingly becoming a pressing issue globally. 46% of IT professionals believe there is a short coming in this area that is likely to gain traction over the upcoming years.
- Even though the risk of cybercrime is intensifying over the years, companies are unprepared to tackle emerging issues. Only 43% of the companies seem to have a strategy and plan of action in place to tackle cyber security issues. At least 14% executives admit they have no strategy or action plan to tackle such attacks.
- Even the government is supporting healthy cyber practices for companies. In 2016, $19 billion were set aside in the annual US budget to counter cybercrime and related issues.
- The FFIEC Cyber Security Assessment Tool was launched in 2015. The purpose of this tool was to help organization evaluate their preparedness to tackle cyber-attacks and uncover other risk factors present in their IT infrastructure.
- The NCUA is likely to launch a detailed cyber security assessment module by late 2017.
All of these statistics explain how important cyber security is for companies of all sizes. Even so, most companies do not realize the gravity of the situation and continue to sideline their information security department. There’s a need to realize this pressing concern and to act proactively to prevent costly failures.
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