10 Unbelievable Facts About Cyber Security!

When the Internet was created 30 years ago by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, it was new and exciting being used to share information by connecting people. However, as time has progressed, the Internet has developed immensely, becoming a scary place full of risks. Did you know that there are 4.29 billion internet users in 2019? An increase of 366 million from 2018

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We say it a lot, cyber-attacks are on the rise, which means your IT security should be at the forefront of your mind. It’s best to make preparations before one happens rather than waiting to see ‘if’ one occurs. With this in mind, we have gone through 10 interesting facts about Cyber Security for 2019 to show you the current state of the cyber-security world and the impact it is having.

  • 70% of organizations say that they believe their security risk increased significantly in 2017.

Attackers are becoming more sophisticated and unfortunately the ‘black hat’ hackers who are criminals aiming to damage and cause harm are doing so at a faster rate than the ‘white hat’ ones who use their skills for ethical hacking. This regrettably means that security risks are expect to grow throughout 2019; it has never been more important to protect your business.

  • It takes most companies over six months, or around 197 days to detect a data breach.

Cyber-attacks can cause major destruction to your business, and recovering from them can be difficult and timely. Experts often say the impacts of cyber-attacks can be split into three parts- financial, legal and reputational. Not only would the trust between yourself and your customers be damaged, but you could expect to see large financial loses along with harsh legal consequences.

  • More than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur every day.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that takes over a victim’s computer and prevents them from accessing their data until a ransom is paid. The earliest development of this type of attacks was in the late 1980’s and since then the capabilities of it are continually growing. It is one of the most common type of attacks today with businesses of all types being targeted. It can be worrying as attackers threaten to expose or perpetually hold the data until they have been paid. 

  • 76% of businesses reported being a victim of a phishing attack in the last year.

As with ransomware attacks, phishing attacks are a common problem. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack in which an attacker gathers personal or sensitive information using deceptive emails or websites. They often disguise themselves as a trustworthy source such as your manager or CEO and trick you into opening an email, or clicking on a link. Financial loss and identify theft are classic examples of the repercussions of phishing attacks.   

  • There were over 3 million crypto jacking hits between January and May 2018.

Crypto jacking is a fairly new type of attack cyber-attack where malicious software hides on your computer without your knowledge and uses the machines resources to ‘mine’ forms of online money known as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The scary thing about crypto jacking is that it doesn’t require significant technical skills, so in theory anyone could attempt to target your business if they wanted to.

  • 91% of cyberattacks begin with a spear phishing email, which is commonly used to infect organizations with ransomware.

Spear phishing attacks are similar to the classic phishing attack where an email will appear to come from a trustworthy source. The difference with a spear phishing attack is that it will be highly targeted, and only sent to carefully selected individuals. Attackers generally research the interned victim’s social media profiles, and from this create an email that will be completely credible and relevant to the victim. Due to these sorts of attacks being highly customised, it makes them much more successful that the traditional phishing attack. 

  • 100,000 groups in at least 150 countries and more than 400,000 machines were infected by the Wannacry virus in 2017, at a total cost of around $4 billion.

The Wannacry virus was a worldwide attack, hitting the NHS and many other organisations. It highlighted how important security checks and updates are. It came from a Microsoft vulnerability for which the company had issues patches too previously, however, many companies hadn’t applied this and hackers targeted this. The hackers encrypted data and demanded a ransom to be paid in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Microsoft had to issue emergency patches and luckily the attack was stopped within a few days, with the additional help of a kill switch which prevent it from spreading further.

  •  41 percent of companies have over 1,000 sensitive files including credit card numbers and health records left unprotected.

By having unprotected files, you are exposing yourself and your business to hackers. What would be the impact if they got hold of this information? Will you be held responsible and lose the trust of your customers? In the UK we have strict data protection and privacy laws, if you were targeted and attacks, you don’t want to be scrutinised and held responsible by leaving important files unprotected.

  • 65 percent of companies have over 500 users who never are never prompted to change their passwords.

A password is the only element standing between a hacker and their ability to gain access accounts. It’s important to have the right measures in place to help guide your employees to security best practices. This is a scarily high percentage of companies that don’t prompt their users to change their passwords.

  • In 2019 IOT (Internet of Things) devices will become major targets for malware attacks.

As we are getting closer to an increasingly connected world through the Internet of Things it’s worth thinking about the security risks it can impose. IOT devices such as smart TV’s and smart speakers are not built with security in mind, which means that smart devices can be easily exploited.

It is important to understand the security risks we face in today’s society so that you can best protect yourself and your business. Many people aren’t aware how prevalent attacks are becoming and the time to change people’s perspective on this is now.

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