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Cybersecurity facts you might not already know, that are affecting you right now and what you need to know to protect yourself and your business.

Cyber Attack

With the benefits of the Internet came negatives as well, like one of those group bundles that you have to buy together. In order to protect yourself from the negatives of the Internet, you need to know the cost of cybercrime, and how it can impact your business. These are 5 startling statistics about cybersecurity in 2018 and what they mean for companies of all sizes

  1. Cybercrime will inflate to $6 trillion
    Cybercrime will cost us $6 trillion annually within the next three years, which is twice what we paid in 2015. The Wall Street Journal estimated that the cost of cybercrime in the U.S. in 2015 was $100 billion. With cybercrime growing at this rate it is essential to ensure that your cybersecurity is rapidly progressing as well. This is more than the amount of money we spend combating all illegal drugs combined, which is a whopping $44 billion, just this year. In 2017 WannaCry ransomware worm held companies, large and small, to more than $100,000 in ransoms.
  2. Cybersecurity costs are similarly inflating
    It is reported that we will spend more than $1 trillion in combating these escalating cybercrimes. To gain some perspective, the US has spent $4.79 trillion on the War on Terror collectively from the countries of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya, since Sept 11, 2001. In 2017, WannaCry ransomware reached over 150 countries costing $4 billion in damage (apart from the ransom). This example is representative of the average cost of a cybersecurity breach – this does not count towards the costs of insurance, which usually doubles or triples the insurance premium after an attack.
  3. Cybercrime overshadowing its counterpart
    While cybersecurity tries to keep up with the inflation of cybercrime, it still falls short year after year. Cybersecurity positions remain underqualified and understaffed. The number of positions not filled will triple to 3.5 million by the year of 2021. Currently, to combat this, all IT positions are dual-purposed as cybersecurity positions as well.
  4. Humans overpopulating their technological counterparts
    Cyberattacks have shifted their focus from machines to humans. In 2017, there were 3.8 billion Internet users. This is staggering when you realize that this makes up 51% of the total world population. Even worse, this increase shows no signs of slowing or stopping anytime soon. It is calculated that by 2030, that there will be more than 7.5 billion Internet users. Within 12 short years, Internet users will increase from 51% to 90% of the total world population. More users mean more cybercrime.
  5. Ransomware damage costs increase by 1500%
    The cost of global ransomware is estimated at $325 million in 2015. By the end of 2017, this number had already multiplied to $5 billion. Again this growth is only predicted to get worse. By 2020, this should easily quadruple to $12 billion. It is reported that currently, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks happening each day. In 2017 a ransomware attack occurred every 22 seconds. By 2020 they will happen every 14 seconds.

So what does this mean for your company?
This means that just as fast as these criminals and attacks are occurring, you need to be preparing. You can prepare your business to survive these attacks by completing a few tasks. To be able to prepare, respond and recover from these attacks you need to train your staff, to know what current threats are out there, and develop cybercrime policies and procedures.

You can prepare for a cyberattack by keeping up to date on current cyber threats to your company. Over 2 million new malware attacks are launched every day. Recent examples of these hazardous cyber threats are seen in the Meltdown and Spectre bugs. Both Spectre and Meltdown could allow potential attackers access to your business’s data. Ransomware, crypto, and malware attacks are the top cybersecurity threats as reported by Forbes Magazine in 2018.

Responding quickly to a cyberattack is incredibly important. If you suspect a cyberattack, you need to immediately work to isolate it, so that it cannot spread through your entire business’ network. Then, you should identify critical assets of your organization so that you can protect those the most. Having a policy in place establishes what steps should be taken, and who is responsible for what. This will limit the confusion of trying to combat an active attack while directing everyone in what to do.

Recovering from a cyberattack should start with informing your customers.  It is reported that one of the most significant costs of a cyberattack is the lost value in customer relationships and brand name. For example, Home Depot and Target suffered a combined total of $554 million in losses due to lost customer relationships and damage to their brand name. To avoid this, you should be transparent with your customers right from the beginning. Letting your customers know will ensure that you are saving yourself from class-action lawsuits, and protecting your business’ reputation. Explain your plan of action to clients so that they can understand that you are containing and correcting the problem. After assessing the attack, you should know which portions of your company have been affected and which haven’t. This way you can restore missing data from the previous backup, and address where there is still missing data.

Establishing policies and procedures aid in protecting your company but you should also consider software that can help detect and isolate cyberattacks. For example, in just one month’s time, Symantec software blocked an average of one million online attacks each day.

According to Microsoft, 20% of small to mid-sized businesses have been cybercrime targets. Small and medium businesses need to make sure they are protected just as well as large companies are. Hiring cybersecurity staff is not in everyone’s budget, but there are other options such as software that can automate detection of these attacks through your corporate network. The faster your business responds to an attack, the better your company will be able to recover.

Knowing these facts, ask yourself: what is your business doing to prepare? Being proactive is your best option – don’t sit idle while your world crumbles around you.

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