The cybercrime industry is a rapidly growing industry that never sleeps. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime is expected to inflict damages totaling a whopping 6 trillion US dollars in 2021 and grow by 15% each year over the next four years to get to $10.5 trillion by 2025.
Cybercrime is nothing new in the business environment. Over the years, there have been numerous reports of companies falling victim to hacks. These hacks have resulted in the loss of confidential data, being locked out of their systems, loss of money and business, being sued by clients, disruption of business, and in worst-case scenarios, complete business shutdown. Although cyberattack cases are on the rise and prove to be more sophisticated and destructive with each subsequent attack, many companies continue to show complacency in their cybersecurity efforts.
Why are Businesses Increasingly Investing in their Cybersecurity?
Last year was challenging for many businesses. With businesses forced to either shut down, scale down their operations, or make budgetary cuts, cybersecurity wasn't an initial priority for many business executives. Organizations were also forced to shut down their physical offices, shift their business operations to the internet, employ remote working and effectively support their workforce while at home. This shift in the working environment brought about new cybersecurity challenges that cybercriminals capitalized on. For many businesses, the allocated budget for cybersecurity wouldn't suffice with the new cybersecurity risks.
At the onset of the pandemic, cybercriminals changed tactics. They capitalized on the uncertainty and fear brought about by the pandemic by sending out fraudulent emails and messages with links or attachments encouraging users to click or open them to get more information on the virus. With little information about the novel virus made public, many people clicked on these links and attachments, ultimately compromising their data. According to a survey by Deloitte, 25% of employees reported an increase in fraudulent messages, phishing attempts, or fraudulent emails on their corporate emails during this time. As a result, Cyberchrology reported that 80% of companies believed that their increased cybersecurity risk during the pandemic resulted from human error.
2020 Named the “Worst Year on Record” in Terms of the Total Number of Records Exposed
According to a RiskBased Security report, by the end of September 2020, about 36 billion records had been exposed. This was more than twice the records exposed in 2019. The FBI reported that cybercrime has increased by 300% since the beginning of the pandemic. A report by HIPAA Journal also shows that in 2020, approximately 9.7 million health records were compromised. This was a 156.75% increase compared to August the same year.
Preventing the occurrence of a cyberattack is far less expensive than recovering from one. These attacks may sometimes take months or even years to recover from fully. With cyberattack cases constantly on the rise and new, innovative, sophisticated, and lethal methods to get access to your data being formulated and implemented daily, the only safe option for your business is to invest in proactive and robust cybersecurity controls.
The Shift in the Cybersecurity Industry
In the past, decision-makers did not prioritize cybersecurity because of its lack of tangible value. There was no meaningful data to plead its case. It was also challenging to measure cybersecurity controls' success, and cybersecurity was expensive with no promise of return on investment. Many people also believed that simple antivirus programs and firewalls could easily intercept incoming attacks. While this might have been true some years back, it's no longer the case. Hackers are continually finding new and more sophisticated ways to get access to your data.
Cybersecurity is slowly becoming a priority for many businesses. According to Forbes, despite the harsh economic times and budget cuts resulting from the pandemic, cybersecurity has remained an investment priority to many companies.
It's Time To Rethink Cybersecurity as a Strategic Business Priority
According to Statista, in 2018, the global spending on cybersecurity was around $40.8 billion. Before the pandemic, this figure was expected to eclipse 43 billion US dollars by 2020. Gartner had predicted a growth of 2.4% on cybersecurity spending to reach 123.8 billion US dollars in 2020, dropping from the earlier expected growth of 8.7% due to the overall economic decline. It also predicted that the cybersecurity market would be valued at 170.4 billion US dollars by 2022. According to LearnBonds, 68% of organizations plan to increase their cybersecurity investment to respond to the pandemic. Canalys also reports that cybersecurity spending is expected to rise by 10% in 2021.
With the adoption of remote working by many organizations, the demand for cloud-computing technology and remote working technology to facilitate a safe and confidential working environment has heightened the need for improved cybersecurity.
How Much Should You Invest in Your Cybersecurity?
The short answer is, it depends.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to cybersecurity. There are also no absolute price tags for cybersecurity solutions. How much you pay for your cybersecurity will depend on the type and level of technology you want, the kind of expertise you are looking for, the number of devices you have, and many other factors.
That said, it's important to remember that preventing a cyberattack is cheaper than recovering from one. If you haven't already started investing in your online security, it's about time you got started.
The first step is finding a cybersecurity expert.
Do You Need Assistance With Your Cybersecurity?
LeadingIT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast, and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 10-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.