Cyber-security Facts That Matter to Small Businesses

The cyber-threat scene is ever-changing. Stay up to date with this year’s malicious trends to ensure your small business doesn’t become a victim.

As cyber attacks and data breaches become increasingly common, it’s more important than ever to protect your business and personal devices from growing threats. Just like many businesses and homes have alarm systems to protect from intruders, the same prevention is necessary to ward off cyber-crime. First, let’s talk about what cyber-security is and why it’s so important.

What is Cyber-security?

Cyber-security is simply the protection against digital attacks. Cyber-security methods protect against the multitudes of digital threats that come to individuals and businesses. The Department of Homeland Security explains it in this way: “Our daily life, economic vitality, and national security depend on a stable, safe, and resilient cyberspace.” The need for cyber-security is fueled by the threat of hackers that compromise important data and systems. However, not all hackers are created equal. There are three main types of hackers:

  1. White hat hacker. These hackers are legal professionals that break into protected systems to test their security. White hat hackers, or “ethical” hackers detect vulnerabilities in networks and systems to expose them before malicious hackers do. These are the good guys in the hacking world and are great at exposing weaknesses that can’t be fixed before the attack happens.
  2. Black hat hacker. Black hat hackers maliciously break into computer networks and security protocols to spread malware, steal data, modify it, or destroy it.
  3. Grey hat hackers. Like white hat hackers, grey hat hackers expose vulnerabilities in systems and report issues to the owners. However, similar to black hat hackers, this type of hacking is illegal because permission was never given. Grey hat hackers often request a fee to fix the issues they find. Think extortion and blackmail.

Black hat hackers pose the largest threat to digital networks and systems. Not only do they break into networks and systems – they’ve created common attacks like phishing, ransomware, and crypto jacking. The world of digital security is continuously changing and evolving, making it important to understand the current landscape to protect your devices from malware. To better explain the current landscape of cyber-security, here are some real facts that you need to be aware of.

Cyber-security Facts

  1. By 2020, the number of passwords used by humans and machines worldwide is estimated to grow to 300 billion. (SC Media)
  2. 43 percent of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses. (Small Business Trends)
  3. 230,000 new malware samples are produced every day — and this is predicted to only keep growing. (Panda Security)
  4. 90% of hackers cover their tracks by using encryption. (Vanson Bourne)
  5. It takes most companies over six months, or around 197 days to detect a data breach. (ZD Net)
  6. Windows is the most targeted platform by hackers; Android is number two. (Computer World)

Cyber-security Costs

  1. The information security market is expected to grow 8.7% in 2019 to $124 billion, driven in part by spending on consultation and implementation services related to the European Union’s (EU’s) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy legislation. (Computer Weekly)
  2. The total cost of a successful cyber attack is over $5 million, or $301 per employee. (Ponemon)
  3. The most expensive component of a cyber attack is information loss, which represents 43 percent of costs. (Accenture)
  4. Damage related to cyber-crime is projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021. (CyberSecurity Ventures)
  5. The Equifax breach cost the company over $4 billion in total. (Time)
  6. Malware and web-based attacks are the two most costly attack types — companies spent an average of US $2.4 million in defense. (Accenture)

Ransomware

  1. More than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur every day. (FBI)
  2. 75% of organizations infected with ransomware were running up-to-date endpoint protection. (Sophos)
  3. The global damage costs connected with ransomware attacks is estimated to reach $11.5 billion in 2019. (Cybersecurity Ventures)
  4. It is estimated there will be a ransomware attack on businesses every 14 seconds by the end of 2019, up from every 40 seconds in 2016. This does not include attacks on individuals, which occurs even more frequently than businesses. (Cybersecurity Ventures)
  5. 91% of cyber-attacks begin with a spear phishing email, which is commonly used to infect organizations with ransomware.. (KnowBe4)

Phishing

  1. In a survey of over 1,300 IT decision makers, 56% of organizations identified targeted phishing attacks as their biggest current cyber-security threat. (CyberArk)
  2. 76% of businesses reported being a victim of a phishing attack in the last year. (Wombat Security)
  3. Verizon reports that users in the U.S open 30 percent of phishing all emails, with 12 percent of those targeted by these emails clicking on the infected links or attachments. (Verizon)
  4. Kaspersky’s Anti-Phishing system was triggered 246,231,645 times in 2017. The security company states over 91 million more phishing system triggers were set off in 2017 over 2016. (Kaspersky)

Understanding the state of cyber-security is important to protect yourself, and your business from cyber threats. The statistics we’ve shared show that even though many individuals and companies are aware of cyber threats, their protection is failing due to the continued expansion of attacks. So what can you do to protect your devices from cyber-crime? The first steps are staying educated on current threats and investing in device security. Use the statistics we’ve shared to plan how you will prevent the growing number of threats in 2019.

We can assess your vulnerabilities for you, easily and at your convenience. We understand your systems, how to find the potential issues and how to resolve them to protect your business’s infrastructure. Contact us today to find out what we can do to protect your business so you can avoid becoming a statistic.

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