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  • The average cost of a data breach in 2021 was $4.24 million

  • Businesses report that profitability would increase with an effective cybersecurity strategy

  • A cyberattack can damage a company’s reputation, financial situation, and legal securities

Cybercrimes are on the rise and even if cybersecurity may be an expense, it is normally less costly than paying for damages caused by a cyberattack.

Cybercrimes are on the rise and even if cybersecurity may be an expense, it is normally less costly than paying for damages caused by a cyberattack. In 2021,the average cost of a data breach globally was $4.24 million, a rise of 10% from findings in 2020. It is the highest cost associated with data breaches so far, according to Statista.

 

Looking back at our earlier blogpost about this year’s outlook, there are obvious reasons why cybersecurity should be prioritized within a company. It is clear that the threat landscape is constantly evolving, threats have increased, and criminals have found new ways to operate. Cybersecurity is essential in order for a company to keep safe, according to Forbes.

 

 

Threats are becoming more sophisticated

Ransomware is the threat that is currently increasing the most. During the last few years, we have experienced ransomware criminals develop from unorganized splinter groups to sophisticated operators, targeting all sorts of businesses and organizations. In 2021, we saw large ransomware attacks happening all over the globe, for example on the Colorado Pipeline, Kaseya and critical infrastructure such as Irelands health care system.

 

Furthermore, in 2020 and 2021, a spike in non-malicious incidents was observed. The pandemic pushed for human errors and system misconfigurations, according to ENISA. The increased number of people working remote and thereby being easier targets for phishing and social engineering attacks, changed the threat landscape and left cybercriminals with new opportunities and possibilities to strike.

 

These threats are not the only once increasing, worth noticing is also the number of crypto jacking infections which attained a record high in the first quarter of 2021, compared to earlier years, according to ENISA.

 

Cybersecurity is not only essential due to the increased number of threats, but also to stay safe when new devices and technology enter the market. Internet of Things (IoT) is another example of a sector where cybersecurity is crucial but largely overlooked. The usage of IoT is increasing and new and sometimes vulnerable devices are constantly entering the market. If the IoT, for example, is accessed via a weak network point or vulnerable device, criminals can retrieve intelligence or cause physical damage, as mentioned in our earlier post.

 

 

Impact of cyberattacks

A successful cyberattack can cause serious damage to a business. It does not only affect companies’ financial situation but also all its relationship, status, legal position and costumer’s trust. The impact of a security breach can be divided into three different categories: financial, reputational, and legal, according to NI Business Info.

 

Trust is essential in relationships with customers and cyberattacks can damage it, which in its turn can lead to loss of customers, sales and reduction in profits. Furthermore, reputational damage can impact suppliers, affect relationships with partners, investors and other third parties attached to a business.

 

Suffering a cyberattack can cause difficult legal consequences. Data protection and privacy laws require that a company manages the security of all their personal data, both from employees and customers. If this data is compromised, the company has failed to meet appropriate security measures and is likely to face consequences as fines and sanctions.

 

Eighty-seven percent of businesses report that profitability would increase if they could implement an effective cybersecurity strategy. Employees involvement is critical in the cyber defense not only in preventing incidents but also in helping the business to respond quickly to possible attacks. An aware workforce, together with security-focused technology operations, could keep a company on the safe side, according to Cisco.

 

In conclusion, the myth of a cost standing in the way for prioritizing proper cybersecurity, needs to be debunked. Cybersecurity is essential and without it, a company may suffer damages not possible to recover. Nowadays cybersecurity has its part in most companies annual budget, and it is necessary to allocate a proper amount for it, according to Secure Brain.