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The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic did cause many negative consequences. One of these consequences that has sadly not been heralded as much as it should is the massive increase in cybercrimes. During the pandemic, there was a rise in email phishing schemes used to deceive and scam people. These malicious actors pose as representatives of WHO or CDC to enforce their schemes. The emails were designed to trick and deceive recipients into taking seemingly harmless actions such as opening an attachment or clicking a link with the virus. Unfortunately, many of these attempts on businesses were successful.
By the year’s end, it is projected that cybercrime would cost the world up to $6 trillion, with this figure expected to rise to $10.5 trillion by 2025. Fortunately, the world’s information security market will likely grow to $170.4 billion by 2022 to combat this rise in cybercrime projection.
However, the common consensus among cybersecurity experts is that cybersecurity teams are understaffed. There is also a huge skill gap in cybersecurity in 2021, resulting in about 3.5 million unfilled jobs, and this is proving to be a significant challenge.
In this article, you have a compilation of some cybersecurity statistics for 2021 that you should know. Apart from expanding your knowledge about the scope of cybersecurity, it will help you highlight the value of improving your organization’s cybersecurity strength and posture.
Covid-19 cybersecurity statistics
The not-so-good state of cybersecurity in the world was laid bare by the covid-19. From the early periods of the pandemic, in March 2020, a report by Deloitte about that pandemic show that it had caused:
- Increased security risk due to the remote work culture.
- Delayed detection and response to cyber-attack.
- Gaps in information security.
- An influx of internet criminals.
Some other covid-19-related cybersecurity statistics published on the paperwritingpro platform are as follows:
- The USA experienced a 300 percent increase in cybercrime reports since the pandemic started.
- As of April 2020, more than half of compliance and legal leaders were worried about the cybersecurity risks of third parties due to the pandemic.
- Not less than 20% of managers claim to have encountered security breaches due to remote work.
- The average cost of a security breach has increased by about $137,000 due to remote work.
- Google recorded 18 million daily phishing and malware emails related to COVID and more than 200 million spam messages every day.
Also in Canada;
- 30% of Canadian organizations experienced a cybercrime spike during the pandemic.
- Cybercriminals have targeted about 25 percent of small businesses since March 2020.
- More than $100 million were reported as losses in 2020, a significant increase from the $84 million reported in 2019.
- About 50% of businesses were hit with malware, and more than 80% got phishing scams.
Cybersecurity statistics related to data breaches
More than 40% of the C-suite business leaders in 2020 that made a data breach report claimed that the second leading cause of the breach was human error, and these data breaches caused an average of $3.33 million. However, the primary cause of these breaches was the deliberate sabotage and theft by an external vendor. Irrespective of the reason or source, identifying and containing these breaches took 239 days on average.
At the end of the third quarter of 2020, 36 billion company records have been exposed. The current statistics for 2021, as mentioned by an essay writer, are:
- Human elements were involved in 85% of data breaches.
- 61% of these breaches were due to compromised or stolen user credentials.
- In more than 35% of these incidents, social engineering was involved.
Cybersecurity statistics related to phishing
One type of scam that is consistently on the rise and commonly used by cybercriminals is phishing scams. This is because it leverages something that billions of people around the world use every day; email. Cybercriminals using the phishing method bank on a lack of cybersecurity consciousness from the email recipient to get them to open a malicious attachment or click a malicious link.
Since 2019, phishing scams have been at the top as a common type of cyber scam, and this is because of a general lack of security awareness from people. In 2020, phishing was used in more than a little over 20% of data breaches. Unfortunately, these statistics have already risen to 36% in 2021.
Between 2019 and 2020, there was an increase in the number of business organizations victims of phishing scams, with the figures rising slightly from 55 to 57%.
Cybersecurity statistics related to malware and ransomware
Malware, such as ransomware, is fast becoming a severe problem for many organizations. By the end of the third quarter of 2020, 21 percent of reported data breaches involved ransomware, contributing to the exposure of known and unknown data types reaching 10.4% and 11.2%, respectively. The ransomware industry currently has a valuation of $14 billion in 2021.
While the impact of these attacks and their increasing frequency is a big problem and make up critical statistics in cybersecurity, they are not the only things to look out for. Another problem worth monitoring is the increasing number of victims that are paying this ransom. The total amount of money paid for these ransoms in 2020 was as high as $350 million, an incredibly significant increase of 311% from what it was in 2019. Also interesting to note is that the number of organizations paying these ransoms increases to 32% in 2021, from the 26% of 2020. However, only 8% of these organizations were able to retrieve their monies.
Another big problem relating to ransomware is the increase in the cost of downtime. In the two years between 2018 and 2020, the average cost of downtime caused by ransomware (per incident) increased to $283,000 from $46,800, an enormous seven times increase.
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Even with all of these damning statistics that have been put forth already, it appears that there is worse to come as far as ransomware is involved. In 2021, it is projected that a business will become a victim of ransomware attacks every 11 seconds. Also, the cost of damage caused by ransomware will increase to $20 billion, which is 57x more than the figures from 2015.
With these unfortunate statistics, it is evident that organizations have to do more to improve their cybersecurity to avoid being victims.