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.

Record-Setting Year

1, 579 breaches according to the 2017 Annual Data Breach Year-End Review. This correlates to a 44.7% uptick of breaches since 2016.

Who’s Affected?

The ITRC report broke down the breach results into five industry sectors:

Business – 870 breaches (55 percent), medical/healthcare – 374 breaches (23.7 percent), educational 127 breaches – (8 percent), banking/credit/financial – 134 breaches (8.5 percent) and government/military – 74 breaches (4.7 percent).

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.

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.

Cyber crime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion per year by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. Click To Tweet

Ransomware costs alone were predicted to hit $11.5 billion by 2019, according to research firm CSO. 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 $93 billion for 2018. This number accounts for any and all end user spending.

The global cyber security industry was expected to reach $93 billion for 2018. Click To Tweet

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. Subscribe to our newsletter for recent blog posts.

Editor’s Note: This article was updated for accuracy and with additional information on June 22, 2018.