30 Practical Cybersecurity Statistics to Be Wary of in 2021

Cybercrimes are on a constant rise around the world, and the latest cybersecurity statistics confirm this trend.

Not so long time ago, major domestic and international banks and big organizations were the main targets of cybercriminals, but today, hackers attack small businesses as well.

A recent unauthorized access to Capcom, a Japanese video game developer, has compromised 350,000 personal user data. This is just one of the many cybersecurity incidents that cause businesses to bleed millions of dollars each time they suffer an attack.

Do you want to know if your business is safe from hackers?

We’ve listed the newest statistics about cyberattacks, data breaches, and security trends that will help you stay updated.

Top Cybersecurity Facts & Trends (Editor’s Choice)

  • Cybercriminals attack every 39 seconds
  • 91% of cyberattacks don’t send security alerts
  • Of all data breaches, 28% of victims are small businesses
  • It takes 280 days to contain a breach
  • 86% of all breaches that occur online are financially motivated
  • Ransomware is the greatest threat to businesses
  • 13.5 billion records are compromised due to inadvertent data exposure
  • 94% of all malware arrives via email
30 Practical Cybersecurity Statistics to Be Wary of in 2021

Shocking Cybersecurity Stats During the Pandemic

1. The reported cyber crimes increased by 300% during the pandemic.

(Source: IMG Grupo)

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center released a report that showed a substantial increase in the reported cybercrimes during the pandemic. To aggravate this, Google also shared a report showing a significant increase in pandemic-related phishing attacks over the platform.

According to the FBI’s cybersecurity stats, the sudden spike of cyber-related risks could be traced to hackers, both domestic and international, who wanted to take advantage of the increasing web activities brought about by the pandemic.

2. The impact of remote work on the average cost of a data breach reached $137,000.

(Source: IBM)

The collective impact of the pandemic reached the digital space, particularly the cybersecurity sphere. Now that most businesses have established an online presence and remote work is run-of-the-mill, will the current global crises affect data breaches?

IBM’s cybersecurity facts exposed that 70% of respondents agreed that remote work would raise the cost of a data breach, and the figure they’re looking at is $137,000.

3. 52% of legal and compliance leaders are worried about third-party risks since the onset of the pandemic.

(Source: Gartner)

The pandemic is an unprecedented event. No people or organizations were ready when it hit the world. That said, the transition from in-office setting to remote work happened hastily as a rapid response to the situation.

Remote employees adjusted quickly, but organizations didn’t have enough time to deploy stronger network security solutions to protect their network systems. This raised worries from legal and compliance leaders.

Surprising Cyber Security Attacks Statistics

4. Hackers attack every 39 seconds, which is a total of 2,244 times daily on average.

(Source: University of Maryland)

Some experts performed a study to quantify the rate of hacker attacks on computers. They set up four Linux computers with network access but minimal security protection. It was found that attacks were from low-level hackers who use “dictionary scripts.”

These are a type of uncomplicated software that breaks into computers by running through lists of commonly used passwords and usernames.

Even if the tactic used is simple scripts, statistics on cybersecurity indicate that threats don’t have to be sophisticated to incur damage, especially if these uncontrollable attacks happen every 39 seconds.

5. A security effectiveness report states that 53% of cyberattacks go unnoticed.

(Source: FireEye)

In this age of technological awareness, many business owners believe that paying for security tools will suffice to deflect cyberattacks. According to this report, though, despite deploying several security products, 53% of attacks remained undetected. This is only one of the many cyber crime breach statistics that confirm organizations need to revamp their existing systems.

6. As many as 91% of cyberattacks don’t generate security alerts.

(Source: FireEye)

According to the 2020 Mandiant Security Effectiveness Report, only 9% of attacks triggered security alerts. It was uncovered that most security tools weren’t optimized. Some security settings were on their default configurations, while others lacked updating and force controls testing features. As a result, security tools failed to send alerts during an incident.

7. According to cybersecurity statistics, 94% of malware is sent via email, and 45% comes in the form of Office doc files.

(Source: Verizon)

The same facts expose the hidden dangers of using emails. By 2024, sent emails will hit an all-time high of 361.6 billion daily. It’s no surprise that cybercriminals want to overexploit these tools for malware.

Today, emails are staples in businesses. For some organizations, it’s the main channel of communication. So, the next time you receive an email, scrutinize the content before clicking any link and perhaps invest in the best email encryption software to protect your data.

30 Practical Cybersecurity Statistics to Be Wary of in 2021

Interesting Small Business Cyber Security Statistics

8. A report confirms that 28% of data breaches involved small businesses.

(Source: Verizon)

In the past, cybercriminals wouldn’t attack small businesses because there wasn’t so much to steal. But times have changed. Nowadays, hackers care less about whether their victims are small-sized businesses with fewer assets. That said, every organization is at risk. This, alongside the most recent cyber security statistics of 2020 for small companies, proves that cybercriminals are becoming less selective with their victims.

9. After a breach, 25% of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) would file for bankruptcy, and 10% would go out of business.

(Source: National Cybersecurity Alliance)

In a survey commissioned by the NCSA, 88% of small business owners believed they’re at least a somewhat likely target for malicious activities. But that’s not even startling.

What’s disturbing is that following a data breach, 25% would file for bankruptcy, and 10% would completely stop doing business. Judging by numerous facts about cyber security, the impact of cyber security threats and breaches on small business owners prove to be detrimental.

10. Recorded suspicious logins reached 52,589 across small business websites throughout September 2020.

(Source: Glow)

If you own a WordPress site, you better check your site’s activity. Glow, a website maintenance app, released riveting data detailing that, on average, over 1,400 suspicious login attempts were initiated by cybercriminals per WordPress site throughout September 2020.

These latest facts may serve as a reminder for small businesses to fortify their network and information systems. Remember, investing in website maintenance and security tools or software can lessen the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches.

Data Breach & Cyber Security Trends 2020 Highlights

11. The United States has the highest number of breaches by location.

(Source: Risk Based Security)

The US has strong security breach notification laws, which drove the reported cases to increase substantially. Organizations that have been affected by a data breach are bound by the law to notify their customers and involved parties, and this is how the US has topped the rank.

Exactly 2,630 of the publicly disclosed breaches occurred in America. It’s the highest number around the globe, based on cyber crime statistics worldwide.

12. On average, it takes 280 days to detect and contain a data breach.

(Source: IBM)

Whenever a breach happens, time becomes critical. Every passing second means lost money to the business. Unfortunately, the average time it takes from identifying a breach to containing it hasn’t changed much from the previous year.

The same report from IBM disclosed that it takes 280 days to contain a breach, nearly similar to the 2019 data, which is 279 days. Cyber security facts and figures show that the number of attacks is increasing, but the time to contain them does the same. This tells us that cybersecurity experts need to level up their methods and maybe change their approach in solving breaches.

13. The worldwide average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million.

(Source: IBM)

A professional and sophisticated fraudster can commit a breach on a global scale. As this report suggests, the cost of a data breach with an impact that gets as far as affecting international customers is a crippling $3.86 million.

14. Cybersecurity stats confirm that 86% of online breaches are financially motivated.

(Source: Verizon)

The majority of internet breaches are motivated by money. To obtain sellable information on the dark web, hackers phish information from vulnerable people. Others penetrate an organization’s data systems and demand a ransom.

15. External email services comprise 51% of accidental data breaches.

(Source: Help Net Security)

Out of the different technologies used in organizations today, external email services, such as Yahoo! and Gmail, have been the causal factors of unexpected data breaches.

The top five technologies that usually lead to accidental breaches include corporate email (46%), file-sharing services (40%), collaboration tools (38%), and SMS or messaging apps (35%).

30 Practical Cybersecurity Statistics to Be Wary of in 2021

Hottest Cyber Security Industry Trends

16. The information sector ranks first for having the highest number of breaches in 2019, which accounted for 88%.

(Source: Risk Based Security)

The information sector experienced breaches 614 times—the highest figure per economic sector in 2019. The sub-industries in this sector include software publishers, internet publishing, and data processing and hosting services.

The year-end data breach statistics divulged that breaches also have deleterious effects on the healthcare industry—the second in rank. It suffered breaches 521 times. Considering that all data is pooled into one place, breaches are almost inevitable.

17. The 7,098 reported breaches in 2019 exposed more than 15.1 billion records.

(Source: Risk Based Security)

In a 2019’s cybersecurity facts data breach report by Risk Based Security, there’s only a 1% difference in the number of breaches from 2018 to 2019.

However, the total number of exposed records was 284% higher.

Perhaps, the strategies recently used in hacking were more refined that despite a measly 1% increase, the number of information exposed almost tripled.

18. Ransomware (48%) remains the biggest risk to organizations.

(Source: Help Net Security)

If ransomware attacks WannaCry and NotPetya hadn’t been stopped, who knows the damage it would have caused to Microsoft. Fortunately, the company was able to release patches immediately.

Additional data breach cybersecurity statistics confirmed that other risks to IT include external attacks from cybercriminals (45%), accidental data breaches by employees (40%), and spear phishing (39%).

19. The inadvertent exposure of data on the web compromised a whopping 13.5 billion records.

(Source: Risk Based Security)

Against the 1.5 billion records of data exposed by hackers, unintentional activities end up compromising way more data on the web. It turns out organizations should be more attentive to accidental data breaches.

One of the biggest trends in cyber security asserts that when employees unintentionally forget to encrypt sensitive data via file sharing and email, it puts the business at risk. Needless to say, these situations are avoidable if companies implement strict internet security protocols and educate employees about internet security.

20. Businesses can save an average of $1 million if they can contain a breach in less than 200 days.

(Source: IBM)

That’s why it’s essential for businesses to invest in high-quality security tools and systems because they help detect threats, allowing enterprises to take prompt actions as soon as the signal for a breach is received. Subsequently, the financial loss is mitigated.

21. Interesting facts about cyber security unveil that 45% of global breaches featured hacking.

(Source: Verizon)

Cybercriminals use different tactics to victimize people. Some even use psychological manipulation to deceit people into giving information.

In a report, Verizon summarized that a significant percentage of breaches (45%) featured hacking. Although it comprised a huge pie in cybersecurity incidents, the second most prevalent causes of breaches are errors and social attacks (22%). Malware accounts for 17% of worldwide breaches.

Must Know Cyber Security Job Statistics

22. The cybersecurity workforce global gap hits an estimated 4.07 million.

(Source: ISC)

In the US, nearly 805,000 professionals are employed in the cybersecurity field. Regardless, the increasing gap in the cybersecurity workforce persists.

The US has almost 500,000 cybersecurity workforce vacancies that need to be filled to fulfill the demand of businesses. Globally, the latest trends in cyber security and data disclosed a gigantic gap of over 4 million in cybersecurity talents.

23. Exactly 59% of respondents say their organizations are at moderate or extreme threat of attacks due to the workforce gap.

(Source: University of San Diego)

In a survey conducted by the University of San Diego, more than half of the respondents declared that their organizations are at a certain level of risk from cyberattacks because of the lack of personnel.

These top trends in cyber security on the scarcity of cybersecurity talents are causing unease. On the flip side, because of the unmet demand for jobs, people who aim to build a career in the cybersecurity sector will have the best options at work.

24. 46% of cybersecurity professionals are contacted by recruiters weekly, whether they’re looking for a job or not.

(Source: University of San Diego)

Issues aside, people with a cybersecurity background don’t have to worry about getting a job. According to cyber security trends, there are multiple job openings but not enough people to take over.

That’s why recruiters typically reach out to individuals with IT or computer skills to offer them jobs. Because of this, there’s currently a 0% unemployment rate in this sector.

25. The Asia-Pacific is the region that has the highest shortage of cybersecurity workers at 2.14 million.

(Source: University of San Diego)

In line with these cyber security statistics, it’s not the United States but the Asia-Pacific region that needs to bridge the widest gap of cybersecurity workers. Japan alone needs over 92,000 workers to fill the unfilled job roles.

While increasing the number of employees seems to be the best course of action to fill the skills gap, there are also other ways. Some examples are conducting cybersecurity training for new hires, opening avenues for professional development within the company, and investing in cyber technologies.

Cyber Security Statistics 2021

26. The information security market is projected to grow by 8.5%, reaching $170.4 billion.

(Source: Gartner)

In a forecast analysis by Gartner, the global information security market is anticipated to grow enormously. The spending on security products and services by the organizations in the coming years will spur growth.

It’s only through well-invested online security systems that businesses have higher chances to stop intrusions and unauthorized access.

27. Cyber security future trends about global crime cite that it will hit $6 trillion in 2021—the third-largest economy after China and the US.

(Source: Cybersecurity Ventures)

The emerging trends in e-commerce, remote work, e-courses, and digital business in general, will change people’s behavior about doing business. Along with the convenience of online commerce comes the risk of cyberattacks.

As people voluntarily give out information to more of these online businesses, the possibility of sensitive data being exposed also rises. Cyber crime statistics worldwide show that cybercrime is projected to be one of the largest economies in the world next year.

28. Artificial intelligence (AI) will be deployed to repel cyberattacks and, at the same time, be used as a weapon to accelerate threats.

(Source: Security Boulevard / Beyond Trust)

Cyber security technology trends predict AI as a double-edged sword. Currently, AI is developed and used to tackle online threats. AI systems have become more complex and remarkably cultivated. This is why experts are hopeful that it can help spot patterns of behaviors and send signals in a beat in case of attempted attacks.

But it’s not just the cybersecurity experts who are exploring AI. Hackers will also harness machine learning to detect vulnerable points in an organization’s systems and use it to launch threats. So the pros and cons of AI will become more apparent in this sector.

29. In 2021, cybercriminals will target telecommuters and remote access pathways.

(Source: Beyond Trust)

The pandemic spurred a shift into telecommuting, which has made the working arrangement at home more casual. Additional cyber security facts of 2020 suggest that home-based workers and remote access routes will be the main targets of online criminals next year. Personal devices used for remote jobs are rarely optimally protected, which renders them vulnerable to cyberattacks.

30. The financial industry will be one of the most threatened sectors by cybersecurity.

(Source: Cybersecurity Insiders)

The threat to the financial sector has always been present. So it won’t be different next year, as stated in these cyber security facts in 2021, which only further portray a worrying increase by year.

However, cybercriminals are getting better with their tactics. Therefore, this calls for financial businesses to reinforce their intranet, antivirus software, malware identifier, and other security solutions once more.

Not only will they be able to adequately protect their network, but they’ll also aid the overall unemployment situation by hiring cyber security professionals to oversee the entire defensive operation.

30 Practical Cybersecurity Statistics to Be Wary of in 2021

Cybersecurity Statistics - Conclusion

Businesses should seriously take cyber security to cement the trust of their clients. As threats affect more people every day, it’s high time organizations invest in their information security systems.

According to cybersecurity experts, there are only two types of online businesses: one that’s been hacked and one waiting to be hacked.

Therefore, investing in cyber security should not be overlooked.

These cyber security spending trends are on the rise, and these stats only prove that the internet is becoming a precarious place.

With the vast gap in the cybersecurity workforce and incidents moving in an upward slope, is cybercrime an online epidemic waiting to happen?

We don’t know for sure.

But what’s certain is that, as early as now, businesses and internet users should work hand-in-hand to secure their information on the web.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many cyber attacks happened in 2020?

We cannot state the exact number of cyber attacks that occurred in 2020, but data suggests that number to be just a little over 30 million.

The daily number of cyber attacks amounted to 2,200, while the definitive number of data breaches in 2020 amounted to 1,001.

Over the course of 2020, about 155 million individuals were subjected to data exposure due to poor security of sensitive-information.

How many cyber attacks happen daily?

A comprehensive study by the University of Maryland found that cybersecurity attacks happen about 2,244 times daily on average. An attack occurs every 39 seconds.

It’s a shocking fact, but what’s even more disturbing is the figure that the FBI recorded during the pandemic. The Cyber Division reported as many 4,000 cyberattack complaints each day.

Microsoft has also recorded a staggering number of COVID-19 themed attacks. In the US alone, phishing or social engineering attacks have peaked at 20,000 to 30,000 daily.

How often does a cyber attack occur?

A cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds, which translates to over 2,000 times daily. This represents multiple attempts for hackers to commit crimes.

Remote work is the new job trend, and people typically use personal laptops and devices that aren’t secured. Cybercriminals will see this as an opportunity to hack, which may increase the cyberattack count per day. Robust security solutions are critical than ever to lessen these attacks.

What industry is the most highly targeted for cyber attacks?

A 2019 year-end report by Risk Based Security revealed that the information sector had experienced the highest number of breaches—equivalent to 614 times to be exact. This industry constitutes traditional newspaper publishing businesses to satellite telecommunications companies.

The enormous rate (88%) of its data breaches are attributed to its three subgroups: internet publishing, data processing and hosting services, and software publishers.

How long does it take to detect a cyber attack?

It takes 280 days to identify and contain a cyberattack. On average, organizations take about 197 days to detect and identify a threat. But some breaches remain undetected even after many days. This depends on the stability and robustness of your organization’s security systems in place.

After detection, it takes another 69 days to contain an attack. When cyberattacks occur, it’s a race against time. Companies that can subdue an attack in less than 30 days can save more than $1 million compared to those that take longer.

Where do most cyber attacks come from?

The top three countries where cybercrimes mostly originate from are Russia, Brazil, and China. Most victims of Russian hackers are banks in Europe and the US.

Since the Soviet Union era, the nation’s education system has encouraged inquisitiveness and the pursuit of scientific knowledge. This was what drove the country to foster notorious cybercriminals.

Brazilian hackers, on the other hand, take inspiration from Russian hackers. They commonly use cyber tactics that are simple but have the slightest risk of exposure. Cybercriminals in China are experts of mass mailing false SMS to coerce victims to make fraudulent bank transfers.

What are some cybersecurity techniques?

The best cybersecurity techniques used today are:

  • Encryption
  • Authentication
  • Digital signatures
  • Antivirus
  • Firewall

Organizations are liable to protect the data of their customers from falling into the hands of cybercriminals. However, online security is better if done both ways. As we feed and transfer more valuable data online, it helps if customers use complicated passwords, utilize a secure password manager, and enable multi-factor authentication.

The current cybersecurity statistics can be unsettling. In the coming years, cybercriminals will use more elaborate methods to steal data. Before this time comes, organizations have to prepare and ensure the current network systems are well-equipped and robust.

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