10 Interesting Facts About Cybersecurity

The following Cybersecurity facts provide a brief introduction, enabling students, developers, and organizations to stay updated with the latest information.

The term cybersecurity is most commonly understood as the practice of protecting systems, networks, and applications from cyberattacks where the objectives are to access, change, or destroy sensitive information, extort money or disrupt the normal work flow of an organization. Preventing cyberattacks and maintaining cybersecurity has proven to be an uphill battle. As more technology and devices are developed, increasing numbers of cyberattackers enter the playing field, each becoming more innovative and more difficult to combat than the last.

10 Cybersecurity Facts

The following facts and statistics provide a brief introduction to the topic of cybersecurity, enabling students, enthusiasts, developers, and organizations to stay updated with the latest trends and information in the cybersecurity industry.

1. A poll by Gallup released in November 2018 revealed that Americans worry more about being a victim of cybercrimes than being a victim of violent crimes, 71 percent of respondents worrying of having their personal, credit card or financial information stolen by computer hackers compared to only 25 percent of respondents worrying of being mugged. [Source: Gallup]

2. The world’s largest data breach to date occurred in 2013 when Yahoo confirmed a data breach had leaked to the public an estimated 1 billion customer records. Yahoo later revealed in 2017 that the estimate had changed, and the total number of customers affected by the 2013 data breach had climbed to 3 billion. [Source: The Wall Street Journal]

3. According to the Cost of a Data Breach Study by IBM and Ponemon’s Institute, in 2018 the global average cost of a data breach is up 6.4 percent over the previous year, costing companies and organizations $3.86 million dollars per data breach. [Source: IBM]

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4. A 2017 report by Cybersecurity Ventures revealed that the global ransomware damage costs for businesses and organizations are estimated to hit a new high of $11.5 billion dollars by the end of 2019. Ransomware is a malware that infects computers and mobile devices, completely restricting access to the devices files, and demands payment in exchange for the devices files while threatening permanent data loss should the user not comply with the ransom. [Source: Cybersecurity Ventures]

5. Cisco’s 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report revealed that Microsoft Office file extensions using formats such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel accounted for 38 percent of malicious file extensions found in emails during 2018. [Source: Cisco]

6. The Cost of a Data Breach Study performed by both IBM and Ponemon’s Institute found that the root causes for data breaches are human error, system glitches, and malicious or criminal attacks. Malicious or criminal attacks being the root cause of 48 percent of data breaches, with human error following at 27 percent, and system glitches behind at 25 percent. [Source: IBM]

7. The 2019 Internet Security Threat Report written by the developers of Norton Security, Symantec, disclosed that despite the 90 percent drop in cryptocurrency value in 2018 compared to 2017, Symantec observed a 400 percent increase in cryptojacking events in 2018. Cryptojacking is the act of using malware to hijack another computer with the intent of using its CPU power to mine cryptocurrencies. [Source: Symantec]

8. Despite the average cost of a data breach reaching as high as $3.86 million, the 2018 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report revealed that as little as 30 percent of United States organizations consider themselves cyber-ready in the event of a data breach. [Source: Hiscox]

9. A 2016 study PhishMe performed by Cofense revealed that 9 out of 10 successful cyberattacks begin with a phishing email after sending 40 million simulated phishing emails to over 1000 organizations. 91 percent of the phishing emails were successful in simulating a cyberattack. [Source: Cofense]

10. According to Verizon’s 2018 Breach Investigations Report, 76 percent of all cyber attacks against organizations are financially motivated, with the majority of cyber attacks being carried out by organized crime groups. [Source: Verizon]

Did You Know: Cyber is a prefix used in a growing number of terms to describe new things that are being made possible by the spread of computers.

This article was originally published on May 13, 2019

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