According to a recent Cybersecurity Ventures report sponsored by Herjavec Group, projections have it that cybersecurity defense costs will exceed six trillion dollars by 2021. This will be double the cybercrime expenditures paid out in 2015. This is a staggering figure, even when taking into account the many millions of dollars paid out in fines for those who incur cyber breaches that violate HIPAA regulations alone. Figure in the remedial costs all those companies are paying in order to get adequate IT security, and you can start to get a picture of how big the IT industry is – and will be in the coming decades.
Another interesting statistic is that by 2020, more than 25% of identifiable cyberattacks on enterprising ventures will involve the Internet of Things, which is quickly evolving into a huge target for opportunistic hackers. IT industry pundits are saying that fully half of IoT devices are unsecured and unready in case of attack. And, take just the six high-risk industries (healthcare, education, finance, manufacturing, government, and transportation) and what they pay out in cybersecurity alone and you’ve got a staggering figure that will involve millions of unsecured, Internet-connected devices. The healthcare industry tops the list of biggest current spenders on cybersecurity, being that they are also the most cyber-attacked industry as well. The race is on to make our business organizations more secure from cyber threat, but the attacks are steady, and increasing.
Ransomware attacks alone have risen 300% in the last year, says the Cybersecurity Ventures report. And, cybercriminals have been showing off their weapons of mass destruction at the rate of 230,000 new malware exploits per day throughout 2015. A new zero-day exploit was discovered at the rate of one per day in 2015.
Says Herjavec Group Founder and CEO Robert Herjavec (as seen on the popular TV show Shark Tank) about the problem, “There’s no effective law enforcement for financial cybercrime today. Organizations need to increase their defenses and become more resilient because there is no end state in sight for this growing cybercrime epidemic.”
Add to that the pervasive ignorance of cyber defense best practices in the workplace in general, and this mass epidemic seems only to be worsening. Herjavec goes on to make the point that as long as cybercriminals get the message that their crimes are paying, the ransomware and other malware attacks will continue (meaning, in effect, “Don’t pay anything to cybercriminals”). The answer to this modern scourge seems to be more and better education, in the form of workplace tutorials on cyber safety, coupled with more comprehensive and sophisticated filtering technology that weeds out phishing, malware, and other schemes to hijack the sensitive data of companies in multi-billion dollar industries. Or, we will be swallowed up in snowballing cybercrime costs we can’t control or scarcely comprehend.
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