4 Notable Cyber Security Statistics You Need To Know
Experts have been stressing the importance of beefing up cyber security for decades, especially amid global crises like COVID and the ongoing war in Ukraine. Multiple studies have noticed that cyberattacks tend to rise during such times, as criminals take advantage of the chaos to catch their victims unawares. More often than not, the result is stolen data.
As such, private and commercial internet users have to exercise greater vigilance today than ever before. By identifying what counts as a cyber security risk, users can take the necessary steps to steer clear of it, like enlisting network security services. Become more aware of the significance of cyber security with the following essential statistics.
98% of attacks rely on duping users
While cyber criminals employ state-of-the-art hardware and software to pull off their heists, most attacks involve something as simple as plain trickery. As much as 98% of incidents involve what many cyber security services call social engineering.
Social engineering works by taking advantage of human error. A perpetrator can create and send a message that evokes emotions such as fear, curiosity, and excitement to make their victim take action. The more heightened these emotions get, the more likely a person will make a mistake; in this case, it would be opening the fishy link that comes with the message.
There’s no need to look far for an example. Phishing emails are a dime a dozen, with estimates of up to three billion being sent out every day. Fortunately, new cyber security solutions such as domain-based message authentication, reporting, and conformance (DMARC) are spearheading the fight against phishing.
Companies lose nearly AUD$4 million per minute to cybercrime
A cyber security business report in 2019 estimated that cyber criminals around the world made USD$1.5 trillion (almost AUD$2 trillion) in 2018 or USD$2.9 million (AUD$3.9 million) every minute. To put that into perspective, Australia’s gross domestic product for 2022 is slightly higher at USD$1.61 trillion (AUD$2.1 trillion, as per the International Monetary Fund). (3)
The same report also stated that large companies that year lost USD$25 (AUD$33) every minute to security breaches. One of which, and possibly the most notorious, is phishing, accounting for average losses of USD$17,700 (AUD$23,561) per minute. (3)
With the global economy still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, businesses big and small can ill-afford such losses. As a result, the rise in computer security service spending in recent years doesn’t come as a surprise. Experts predict that global investments in this field may break the USD$200 billion (AUD$267 billion) mark by 2024. (4)
Malware and ransomware attacks have multiplied several-fold
A study of hundreds of millions of malware and ransomware attacks at the height of the COVID crisis revealed that such incidents had increased three- and four-fold from 2019, respectively. While their economic impact is far less than other forms of cybercrime like phishing and zero-day exploits, the way these malicious programs work is nothing short of fearsome.
Many people use these terms interchangeably, but there are a few differences. For one, malware refers to a group of systems that disrupt a device’s normal function. Enterprise security services frequently deal with different types, including trojan horses, viruses, spambots, and ransomware.
Ransomware works precisely as the term implies, denying users access to their own computers or devices unless they pay the perpetrators to unlock these. This malware’s terrifying potential has criminals employing a ‘double extortion’ modus as of late. Failing to pay the ransom will give criminals a free hand on what to do with the data, primarily releasing it into the open. This is why investing in protective measures like an Optus internet security suite should be on any organizational head’s list of priorities.
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Government agencies and NGOs are favourite targets
In a study of over 20,000 cyberattack notifications delivered throughout 2021, Microsoft found that attacks against government agencies and non-government organisations (NGOs) constituted the majority. Between July 2020 and June 2021, 48% of attacks targeted government agencies, and 31% aimed at think tanks and other independent institutions. (5)While the report stated that the bulk of these attacks hit U.S.-based businesses and organisations, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) warned that now’s not the time to be complacent. In its recent official statement, it said the ramifications of a cyberwar going hot amid the crisis in Ukraine could spill into the country. Several IT security services have also issued similar alerts, with one reporting an increase in ransomware attacks in Australia and New Zealand over the past several weeks. Regardless of an agency or business’ stance on the ongoing conflict, the ACSC believes that these cyberattacks will affect everyone equally.
Be aware, be prepared
The facts and figures presented in this piece are only the tip of the iceberg. Businesses and other institutions should be aware of the implications of a successful cyberattack, from compromised data to irrecoverable losses.
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- “2021 Cyber Security Statistics The Ultimate List Of Stats, Data & Trends”, Source: https://purplesec.us/resources/cyber-security-statistics/
- “Three billion phishing emails are sent every day. But one change could make life much harder for scammers”, Source: https://www.zdnet.com/article/three-billion-phishing-emails-are-sent-every-day-but-one-change-could-make-life-much-harder-for-scammers/
- “The Evil Internet Minute”, Source: https://security.world/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Evil-Internet-Minute-RiskIQ-Infographic-2019.pdf
- “Investing in Cybersecurity”, Source: https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/investing-in-cybersecurity
- “Microsoft Digital Defense Report shares new insights on nation-state attacks”, Source: https://www.microsoft.com/security/blog/2021/10/25/microsoft-digital-defense-report-shares-new-insights-on-nation-state-attacks/