Cyber Security Statistics 2017: Data Breaches and Cyber Attacks
When companies talk about a record-setting year, most of the time there’s cause for celebration. Maybe they had record sales or closed the year with record profits.
In the cyber security world, record setting has an entirely different connotation
It’s one thing to talk in generalities about how massive the data breach problem is, but it’s another thing to understand the actual statistics. The numbers tell a powerful story about how pervasive cyber attacks have become
These 2017 statistics, along with predictions for the coming years, provide eye-opening insight into how cyber attacks impact not only businesses of all sizes across all industries, but almost every person in the world on an individual level.
By December 20, the Identity Theft Resources Center (ITRC) had recorded 1,293 U.S. data breaches in 2017, exposing more than 174 million confidential records. That was 21 percent higher than what was recorded at the same time in 2016.
By year’s end, the total number of breaches was expected to reach a record-setting 1,300. In 2016, the ITRC recorded 1,093 breaches.
The ITRC report broke down the breach results into five industry sectors: business (50.5 percent), medical/healthcare (28.3 percent), educational (8.8 percent), banking/credit/financial (7.1 percent) and government/military (5.3 percent).
Who was affected personally? Almost everyone. A single breach of data analytics company Alteryx exposed sensitive information for 123 million U.S. households. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 125.8 million U.S. households in 2016.
Depth of the Dark Web
A massive Dark Web database of 1.4 billion email addresses, usernames and passwords was discovered in 2017, the UK’s Daily Express reported in December.
Security researchers at 4iQ discovered the cyber criminal database, which includes passwords from large breaches like LinkedIn, as well as smaller breaches. Companies mentioned in the database also include Netflix, Gmail and PayPal.
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Cyber Crime Costs
Cyber crime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion per year by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. To put that in perspective, profits will surpass those global illegal drug trade.
Ransomware costs alone were predicted to top $5 billion globally by the end of 2017, according to research firm Cyber security Ventures. That’s 15 times the damage in 2015. Ransomware attacks on the healthcare industry – the No. 1 target – could quadruple by 2020.
Costs are calculated looking at a variety of factors, including downtime, loss of data, lost productivity, business disruption, restoration, reputational damage and more.
What’s My Information Worth?
Security expert Brian Krebs recently posted a revealing piece on the market for stolen account credentials. One thief in particular made $288,000 for selling about 35,000 pairs of credentials, which works out to about $8.19 per set. The overall average for well-known e-commerce and banking sites is about $15 per pair.
Cyber Security Spending
It’s not just the bad guys that are raking in profits. The global cyber security industry was expected to reach more than $120 billion by the end of 2017. That’s 35 times more than what vendors pulled in as recently as 2004.
Cyber Security Jobs
Fighting all this cyber crime requires significant manpower, and there aren’t enough experts to go around right now. The number of unfilled cyber security jobs will triple by 2021, Cyber security Ventures predicts, reaching 3.5 million.