Contributor: Camille Dubuis-Welch – Contributor |
Camille Dubuis-Welch – Contributor
Cybercrime attacks cost US and UK businesses into the hundreds of thousands with the majority targeted multiple times according to a new Cybercrime Statistics Report from the Independent Advisor. In the US, businesses have felt the impact as last year the average attack amounted to a huge $4.35 million. Shockingly, 83% of organisations are attacked more than once, and it took on average 277 days for companies to identify and respond to attacks. For breaches that were contained within 200 days, there is an average cost saving of $1.12 million (26.5%).
UK-based businesses are regularly targeted by hackers with 31% being attacked at least once a week. According to the UK government, each attack amounts to an average cost of £4200 per business (small businesses average cost £3,080, while medium to large businesses costs amounted to £19,400).
Cyberattacks towards UK national bodies such as South Staffordshire Water and NHS 111 were also reported – with 18 ransomware incidents requiring a national response. The UK’s NCSC chief executive officer, Lindy Cameron, believes ransomware to be the most immediate cybersecurity threat to UK businesses.
With multiple global companies having been primary targets already this year, the report calls for more steps to be taken for online protection – especially when faced with increasingly sophisticated attacks that use AI technology. 90% of company security breaches are the result of phishing attacks – the practice of deceiving, pressuring or manipulating people into sending information or assets to the wrong people – showing that more needs to be done to educate employees to threats online.
Lead writer and researcher Camille Dubuis-Welch states:
“The majority of businesses and internet users have been a victim of cybercrime – whether they know it or not. The pandemic vastly ramped up the rate and methods of attacks, and many are unaware of just how vulnerable they could be.
With record numbers being compromised every year, it’s vital that users and companies learn how to protect themselves better online. Being vigilant about fraudulent emails, using a VPN, and choosing hard-to-crack passwords should now be standard practice, rather than an afterthought.”
The report also includes 5 steps on how to stay protected online:
- Check emails carefully – be aware of what an authentic email looks like and whether the domain name matches the website/company
- Protect online browsing data with a VPN – especially when using public wifi or connecting with a information sensitive online platform
- Use complex passwords – that are updated regularly, or use a password generator/management tool
- Keep apps and software updated – minimising the risk of hackers finding a fault or vulnerability
- Stay secure and vigilant on social media – keep profile settings private to avoid any key details being discovered
Overall Cybercrime Costs & Attack Increases
A main finding from the research is that if measured as a country, cybercrime would be the third largest global economy at $10.5 trillion by 2025. This is to be expected given that 33 billion records are estimated to be stolen in 2023 – a huge increase of 175% from 2018.
The COVID pandemic was a huge driver in this rise. In 2021 alone, cybercrime increased by 125%. And there’s no signs of slowing down. Over 422 million US accounts were affected by compromised data last year, and it’s estimated that hackers now attack your computer every 39 seconds – averaging 2,244 attempts a day.
While the pandemic raged on in the UK, so did online criminals in targeted UK citizens. The report found that cybercrimes grew by 40% in 2021, and it’s now estimated that there’s an average of 4,783 victims for every million users. Additionally, UK social media has also been targeted with there being a 23.5% attack increase over the last year.