Today we are almost entirely dependent on hackable technology. Your phone, your computers, your car, your bank and credit card purchases, even your smart home devices and alarm systems (IoT) can be hacked into. In fact, a hacker attack takes place worldwide every 39 seconds, affecting one in three Americans each year.
In the following article, you’ll get a chance to see some cybercrime statistics from a variety of dependable sources that will help you understand the real threat you’re facing as a business, a person, and an employee. You’ll also learn a bit about how you can protect yourself.
Cybercrime is almost constant, committed by professionals and often extremely well-organized groups. As you will see, it’s also increasing in scope, sophistication, and cost.
Important Cyber Crime Facts and Statistics (Editor’s Picks)
- At least 330 million people were victims of some type of cybercrime in 2020
- Two out of three companies worldwide have experienced a cyber attack in the past year
- There were 1.51 billion IoT device breaches in the first half of 2021
- Google predicts that 20% of social accounts will be compromised sooner or later
- A day of botnet activity for hire can cost $67
- More than $400 million ransom was paid through cryptocurrencies in 2020
- $262.4 billion was spent on cybersecurity in 2021, and it will grow to $459 billion in 2025
General Cybercrime Statistics, Scope and Frequency
1. In 2020, at least 330 million people were victims of some type of cybercrime.
That’s in 10 countries, many of which have outdated or even no cybercrime laws. Sometimes, you won’t even notice you were a target, like in case your computer becomes a part of a bot network. In some cases, you might even have to face financial losses.
2. Cybercriminals generate revenues of $1.5 TRILLION annually.
(Dr. Michael McGuire, University of Surrey)
The people behind recent cybercrimes no longer fit the stereotypical idea of a kid in a hoodie operating from his mom’s basement, at least not entirely. Today, we are up against organized crime, a professionalized underground industry that pays off big time.
3. Two out of three companies worldwide have experienced a cyber attack in the past year.
Individuals are not the only victims of cybercrime – many companies, usually small to midsized ones, have to face increasing data breach or denial of service risks. This can answer questions about how many cybercrimes are committed each year. Companies can lose a significant amount of money in lawsuits and permanently damage their clients’ trust.
4. Credit or debit card fraud – almost 30% of all identity thefts.
Credit card frauds happen when a person steals your card information and then uses it to gain access to cards and bank accounts. Even as banks try hard to make some types of attacks more difficult, criminals still turn a profit, and everyone needs to stay tuned to the new developments.
5. It takes 228 days, on average, for a company to even realize it’s been hacked.
That’s one of the most frightening cybersecurity statistics , since criminals can mess around with your confidential data for months on end before you even notice something’s wrong, and start fixing the damage.
6. 35.14% of computers in China are in danger of being infected by malware.
China is the country with the highest rate of infected computers in the world, which does suggest to a degree that China is primarily the victim, not the perpetrator of cybercrime.
Types of Cybercrime
The most common types of cybercrime experienced by consumers or someone they know include:
7. Viruses – the number of detected malware surpassed 700 million.
This could lead to software and even hardware failure, identity or personal information theft or nothing at all, no visible damage. Even then, a Trojan could even make your device a zombie server sending out spam, consuming your network and internet resources. Therefore, make sure to protect yourself with the finest antivirus software.
8. Stolen account password – cyber security statistics show that there are around 15 billion of them for sale on the Dark Web.
Your password is a part of authentication, a secret only you are authorized to know, that helps you access a system. Using upper and lowercase letters along with numbers and some symbols is one way to fight brute force attacks, but this confidential information is still often stored and easily accessible in poorly protected devices. Or if you prefer, buy the best password manager for your needs to ensure all round protection.
9. Email or social media hacking – Google predicts that 20% of social accounts will be compromised sooner or later.
Once you’ve been hacked on a social media channel, the attacker will observe communication and use this insight to access other accounts for further criminal actions. This is usually done for financial gain – asking a bank to transfer money, and/or causing emotional damage, in case of extortion.
10. Phishing – almost seven million new scam and phishing pages were created in 2020.
Giving out account information to the attacker pretending to be your bank or other authority. This is done via email, message (smishing) or phone support (vishing). The attacker might ask for personal information like password, or ID number, or might ask you to configure your computer to suit your needs. A very productive type of cyberattacks as companies still ignore the human factor, and sees security as a solely technical problem.
Cyber Security Statistics Related to the Most Prevalent Types of Cybercrime
11. $170,404 is the average amount of cash attackers demand.
Out of 357 companies that paid ransom, 20 of them paid just $10,000, while the highest amount was $3.2 million. The United States are the most targeted country in the world when it comes to ransomware, as they are the most willing to actually pay up, thus accounting for most of the global ransomware profits.
12. People in 86% of organizations click on phishing emails.
When talking about the general population that cannot be trained by companies, including customers, the stats are worrying. People tend to believe these pretend links are legit, and a fake website you might be led to is dangerous to an untrained eye.
13. 75% of malware in 2021 was delivered by email.
(HP Wolf Security)
One of the most important cyber crime statistics and trends today is that hacking is becoming less and less prevalent as a technical problem. And as Medium noticed, using humans as the weak link is a growing trend, and it’s becoming more and more expensive and difficult to raise awareness of employees worldwide.
14. In 2020, people sent 791,790 complaints to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
A good proof that social manipulation hackers use to gain access to confidential info is so successful that even the FBI got involved. That year, the adjusted costs amounted to over $4.2 billion in the USA.
15. More than $400 million ransom was paid through cryptocurrencies in 2020.
Cybercrime and Cryptocurrency have established quite a reputation for being interlinked, even though the most popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or monero are relevant, although their position is quite overhyped as part of the cybercrime economy.
16. The laundered money held in Bitcoin amounts to $2.8 billion annually.
The blockchain system supporting the cryptocurrency is eroding criminals of their anonymity these days, since doing business is a matter of public record, and web cookies are quick to link money transfers to individuals.
17. The number of DDoS attacks increased by 55% in 2020.
DSoS, or distributed denial-of-service, is one of the most prevalent cybercrime trends and is exactly what it sounds like: an effort to make a certain website unavailable for hours, days, even weeks at a time, by overflowing it with traffic from hijacked computer systems.
18. 66% of small businesses suffered a cyberattack
This affects them a great deal, since many of them go out of business within the first couple of months of being hacked.These business cybercrime statistics matter a great deal when you have a small client base, and your reputation matters a great deal.
19. A day of botnet activity for hire can cost $67.
The hourly rate is around $9. It takes a huge amount of traffic to crash a website, and that’s why many botnets are bought and sold sold on the underground online market, fueling cybercrime growth.
20. By 2030, there will be almost 25.5 billion connected smart devices worldwide.
Smart doorbells, smart fridges, smart lights, watches, heating, cars, home security systems, and even machines in your hospital: their one big characteristic is that they are incredibly easy to hack, as security is rarely a priority despite the fact that they are sleek mediators to stealing important data, or enabling DDoS attacks.
21. There were 1.51 billion IoT device breaches in the first half of 2021.
(IoT World Today)
Hacked IoT devices enable easy access to much larger systems. They usually don’t have an OS or antivirus protection. This makes them easy targets, and the number of attacks is on the rise. In 2020, Kaspersky had registered only 639 million such attacks.
22. Singapore’s government health database was hacked, stealing 1.5 million records.
In 2018, even the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong had his data stolen. The attackers had accessed, copied, and possibly sold info containing names, identity card (IC) numbers, addresses, and dates of birth.
23. IoT devices suffered more than 1.5 billion attacks in 2021
These cybercrime statistics are a bigger deal than anyone seems to realize, and experts believe that companies are not allocating enough resources for smart device protection. Worldwide, companies seem slow to learn the risks and security implications of this weak link.
24. More than 24,000 mobile malware is blocked on a daily basis.
This is no surprise with today’s mobile-first technology. Cybercrime follows the traffic and the money. Hackers also try to take advantage of the fact that our phones are not as protected as our computers.
25. Hacking statistics say that 93% percent of all mobile transactions in 2019 were blocked as fraudulent.
(Help Net Security), (Statista)
Coming as no surprise in today’s mobile-first technology, with mobile apps generating more than 50% of total web traffic. Some of the more challenging security issues stem from the competitive market’s demand for opening up our systems for connected, online use.
The bank cyber crime statistics are increasingly disturbing now that users’ data is available to third parties. Criminals take advantage of the convenient, single sign-in we use to view our information or pay our bills. Before this new trend, the bank systems were closed.
26. In 2017, 6M celebrity Instagram accounts were exposed.
Some of the celebrities affected were Harry Styles, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and Emma Watson. The dark web was stacked with contact details and personal life.
(The New York Times)
One worker in the Pentagon thought it wise to click on a twitter link marketing a simple family vacation. The U.S. Department of Defense has thousands of social media accounts, used as means of communication between personnel, friends and family. This proved to be a huge liability.
What Are Some Examples of Cyber Crimes?
28. In 2017, Wikileaks released more than 8,761 classified CIA documents.
The biggest ever leak of confidential documents from the CIA, this info describes in great detail the way that the CIA breaks into phones, communication apps and other electronic devices.
29. In 2018, 500 million guests were compromised in the attack on the Marriott hotel chain.
Leaked info from this web crime included passport info, credit card details, as well as names & phone numbers of guests who checked into the Starwood properties on or before Sept 10 the same year.
30. In 2017, Yahoo admitted that 3 billion user accounts were hacked
(The New York Times)
Namely, all of them. The first time Yahoo came out with this info was in 2016, when only 500+ million breaches were accounted for, so it took a while to even realize the true scope of the breach. Global cyber crime statistics show that this is still the biggest breach in history and is not expected to be overtaken.
31. In 2016, FriendFinder Networks Inc was attacked, leaking 339 million personal accounts.
As this is a dating and adult entertainment site, the particularly sensitive nature of the leaked information like sexual orientation and if a user was looking for extramarital affairs caused significant emotional harm. This is still one of the biggest breaches in this field.
32. In 2015, The Ashley Madison breach leaked info on 32 million users
The results varied from disheartening to downright tragic. With Ashley being primarily an adultery dating site, the data breach lead to numerous divorces, even suicides. Talking about distressing cybercrime incidents, this cost a staggering $11.2 million in lawsuits.
33. In 2017, 2.4 million records containing personally identifiable information was stolen from Equifax.
This data analytics and technology company reported a huge data breach that affected 147 million people. The company agreed to pay settlements of around $425 million.
34. In 2015, Anthem Inc. experienced a data breach that affected around 80 million people.
Above, we mentioned the theft of healthcare data. One of the most well known cases leaked info containing social security numbers, medical IDs, birthdays, addcyber theftresses, names, even income data.
Famous Cybercrime Convictions
Arrests and convictions for cybercrime are very rare. This is because the perpetrators are hard to identify, and they often operate from countries that have no extradition agreements with targeted countries. But every once in a while, a cybercrook gets caught and convicted.
35. Mark Vartanyan accessed personal info from 11 million computers worldwide, causing $500 million in losses.
(Crebs On Security)
This hacker was convicted of cyber theft and developing, maintaining and distributing malware between 2012 and 2013, and then again in 2012.
36. Susan Atrach hacked into celebrity email accounts in 2018.
This 21-year-old was charged for a number of crimes after having hacked into Selena Gomez’s email account, taking hold of sensitive, personal data. Her crime involved stealing computer data to conduct fraud, identity theft, obtaining money or data using illegal means and hacking into celebrity accounts.
37. In the UK, four in ten businesses were subject to cyberattacks in the past 12 months.
Moving on to cybersecurity statistics in the UK – the 2021 Cyber Security Breaches Survey these attacks cost every business £8460, per successful attack, on average. This amounts to billions of pounds, not counting the emotional damage and personal costs of buying into various types of fraud. Many small businesses close after suffering such an attack.
38. Hackers can make up to $2 million per year.
When answering the question how much money do cyber criminals earn, one must consider their level of expertise, whether they belong to an organization, and how many projects they are working on. Particularly successful cybercriminals make $167,000 every month. A middle-of-the road hacker makes up to $75,000.
39. $262.4 billion was spent on cybersecurity in 2021, and it will grow to $459 billion in 2025.
The ever-increasing number of cyberattacks and data breaches is forcing companies of all sizes across the world to invest in security. So how much money do companies spend on cybersecurity has increased in recent times, in part because of the new regulations imposed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a shifting buyer mindset, an increased awareness the importance of cybersecurity, and the overall evolution to a digital business strategy.
40. The starting cyber security assessment cost for a business with at least 50 employees is around $10,000.
The answer to the question how much does a cyber security assessment cost requires a multifactor analysis that relies on the individual scope, size, and complexity of your business, your industry (some are high-risk, and some are not), the size of your organization, number of offices, and even details like the complexity of your company’s inner workings.
In the case of evaluating the cost for a cybersecurity and security risk assessment, most analysts advise checking the total cost of ownership, which involves your methodology, experience, and finally, product quality and value.
Cybercrime Statistics by Country:
41. An estimated 47% of all computers in China are infected by malware.
According to data available, the runner-up is Turkey with 42.88% of all computers infected… followed by Taiwan, with 38.98%.
42. In 2017, there was an average of 24,089 records breached per country.
India was by far the leading nation with as many as 33,000 breaches. The USA counted 28,000.
43. Chinese cyber attacks accounted for over 35% of all cyber attacks in India in 2019.
(Indian Defence Review)
In 2019, India experienced 50,000 cyberattacks from China alone. Other countries that targeted India were Slovenia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Mexico.
Cybercrime is on the rise and we are becoming more and more dependent on technology, from our smart devices, to databases in schools and hospitals. The biggest hope in overcoming these issues seems to lie in sophisticated security techniques, and most of all, educating the general public as well as employees about cyber security facts.
Many companies lose millions of dollars on lawsuits caused by cyberattacks. Cybercrime has become a well thought-out, complex, and expensive form of organized crime. This is why any company with a good sense of risk assessment ought to get some sort of cybersecurity for their system. And don’t forget, educating your employees and protecting your IoT devices is a must if you don’t want to be featured in our next cybercrime statistics article.
- Cybersecurity Ventures
- Crebs On Security
- Comply Advantage
- Dark Reading
- Dr. Michael McGuire, University of Surrey
- Help Net Security
- HP Wolf Security
- IoT World Today
- Indian Defence Review
- The New York Times
- The New York Times
- The Guardian
- The Telegraph