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Cybersecurity by the Numbers

Cybersecurity by the Numbers

As a security professional, you’re no stranger to the challenge of convincing your leadership of the need for cybersecurity.  Here’s a list of some of the most compelling cybersecurity statistics to date, that are sure to help your case.  These numbers show that the cyber threat landscape is growing more complex and organizations are at risk for serious consequences. Let’s dive right in:

3.8 billion

The number of Internet users in 2017  (Cybersecurity Ventures, 2017)

Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that this number will grow to 6 billion Internet users by 2022.  This means the number of targets for cybercrime is growing- and it’s growing at a faster pace than it’s being secured.

31 billion

 The forecasted amount of connected IoT devices worldwide in 2020 (Statista, 2018)

There are more ways for cybercriminals to attack than through what we traditionally think of as the Internet – from coffee makers to HVAC systems, the number of targets available for hackers continues to increase.


The rate that ransomware attacks are growing every year (Cisco, 2018)

It doesn’t take a seasoned cybercriminal to acquire ransomware tools- and it takes very little technical skill to use these tools effectively.

40 seconds

Every 40 seconds a business falls victim to a ransomware attack (Cybersecurity Ventures, 2017)

With the increased availability of ransomware tools, it’s no surprise that these attacks are hitting businesses every 40 seconds.


The rate that phishing attempts have grown in the past year (PhishMe, 2017)

Human error continues to be one of the greatest weaknesses in many organizations’ security postures- and cybercriminals know that. This high percentage reveals the need for proper employee security training and awareness.


The amount of organizations that identified the main cause of the data breach as a malicious or criminal insider (Ponemon, 2017)

It’s often easier to attack from the inside.  There are many warning signs in employees that signal the potential for insider threat, and when overlooked, they can cause great damage.


The percent of hacking-related breaches that leveraged either stolen and/or weak passwords (Verizon DBIR, 2018)

There are still many organizations that are not enforcing the use of multi-factor authentication, despite how easy it is to employ.  You could prevent a breach in your organization with a process that takes only seconds!


The number of reported data breaches in 2017 (Statista, 2018)

This is over 10 times the amount of data breaches that were reported in 2005! Although cybersecurity awareness is growing, the threat landscape is growing much faster.

$7.91 million

The average total cost of a data breach in the U.S. (Ponemon, 2018)

This includes financial damage from a loss of customers as well as the costs associated with post data breach response. Oftentimes, the reputational damage is irreparable.

$600 billion

The amount of money that cybercriminals made last year (RiskIQ, 2018)

Compare this to the $90 billion that organizations spent last year to protect their most valuable data.  Organizations just aren’t keeping up with the cybercriminals.

$6 Trillion

The projected cost of damage related to cybercrime by 2021 (Cybersecurity Ventures, 2017)

With the increase of available attack vectors, cybercrime is now the fastest growing crime in the U.S, with associated costs growing along with it.

Fortunately, there are ways your organization can work towards improving your security posture.  Begin by identifying your vulnerabilities now- before someone else does.

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