Visit your favorite news site and you’re immediately presented with plenty of things to be afraid of: nuclear weapons, natural disasters, disease, war — the list seems to go on and on.
But the biggest threat to companies and individuals worldwide actually comes from something that’s probably already affected you: cybersecurity. The truth is that no one is doing enough to combat cybersecurity.
Here are five statistics that prove everyone should be doing more to address this prominent and growing threat:
The cost of ransomware attacks rose 15x in 2017: Remember how the WannaCry cyberattack made you, well, want to cry? So will the fact that in just two years the cost of ransomware attacks rose 15x, to $5 billion annually. And that’s just one type of malicious activity. Ransomware attacks involve hackers holding your data hostage until a payment is made to release it, causing money to be lost on both paying off hackers and lost productivity.
19% of shoppers say they’ll abandon retailers that are victims of data breaches: The total cost to Target of its notorious 2013 data breach is in the hundreds of millions, a significant portion of that due to the loss of shoppers who may never return. According to a recent KPMG survey, 19% of consumers say they would abandon a retailer entirely if they felt their information had been compromised, and 33% said they would stay away for at least three months.
The first half of 2017 saw a 164% increase in cyberattacks: In the first half of 2017 there were 1.9 billion data records compromised, accounting for a huge year-over-year spike. It looks like this trend will grow exponentially in the coming years.
42% of retailers say they don’t have anyone in charge of information security: According to the same KPMG survey cited above, a significant number of retailers are missing a key role in their cybersecurity approach. It’s clear retailers do not understand the severity of this issue.
Cybercrime damages will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021: The cost and prevalence of cyberattacks is rising sharply every year, and there is currently no end in sight. As more people go online around the world — expected to hit 75% of the world’s population by 2022 — there is more data to be stolen, and more money to be made through cybercrime.
These are just five snapshots that prove no one is really doing enough to protect themselves or others against cyberattacks, and there are plenty more examples out there.
Yet while it’s perfectly reasonable to be scared of these numbers, that’s not the point. We possess the ability and technology to prevent and fight these attacks, but only if the investment is there. With the right approaches in place, it can at least become less frightening.