2019 will mark the highest number of cyber attacks in history.

With growing dependence on technology, the global risk posed by cyber threats rises exponentially each year. Cybercrime is most certainly on the rise, and everyone is well aware of highly-publicized attacks such as those targeting Marriott, Equifax, Yahoo, and Facebook.

Even governmental election processes throughout the world aren’t safe, and government offices large and small are finding themselves in the line of fire.

IT security professionals and business leaders alike should be aware of these growing dangers. Now is the time when proactive measures must be taken seriously, and no business or organization can afford to be in a “damage control” scenario.

Cybersecurity statistics are often used to raise awareness of the cyber threat landscape. There are no shortage of shocking reports and case studies to jolt business owners into taking action — but still, many continue to roll the dice and take their chances. (You’ll see just how many in the statistics below.)

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As a leading cybersecurity provider in Texas, the NCC team hopes that you don’t wait until it’s too late to address your own cybersecurity concerns. Take a look at the below statistics and you will quickly understand why preemptive action is so critical in 2019:

1 – $1.5+ trillion cybercrime economy. Hackers persist because their crimes are profitable. Cybercriminals current produce over $1.5 trillion in profits every year…and that’s just what we know about.

2 – Most small business owners invest less than $500 in cyber security products annually. A 2018 study conducted by Juniper Research concluded that the vast majority of small business owners will spend less than $500 on protecting their networks and data this year. Many will not invest in their cyber defense at all.

3 – SMBs are targeted 43% of the time. Research by SCORE tells us that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. SMBs have become top cyber attack targets largely because many are easy targets with very few, if any, protections in place.

4 – 49.6 day period between breach discovery and reporting dates. On average, data breaches are not reported until roughly 50 days after they’re discovered. Without a monitoring solution in place, these breaches are likely to go undiscovered for weeks or even months.

5 – Cybercrime damages to reach $6 trillion annually. According to a 2019 ACR from Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime damages are expected to cost businesses and organizations $6 trillion annually by 2021. This number has risen over 100% from damage estimates in 2015. According to analysts, cyber crime has become “more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.”

6 – Tools used by hackers are cheap and readily available. Hacking tools and turnkey cybercrime kits can be purchased for as little as $1 on the Dark Web and online marketplaces. “Cybercrime for hire” services are also easy to source online.

7 – The United States remains the #1 target of cyber crimes. According to Norton Security, the USA holds first place among countries that are targeted cyber security attacks.

8 – 33 billion records will be stolen by 2023. This staggering number is cited in Juniper Research’s Cybercrime & the Internet of Threats 2018 report.

9 – 1.16 billion email addresses and passwords were exposed in one 2019 breach. In a single massive breach discovered in 2019, over one billion unique email accounts and passwords were stolen. This breach, thought to be the largest to date by Forbes, represents only one of many.

10 – Cofense reports that 91% of cyber attacks start with a spear-phishing email. Social engineering remains the most popular means to initiate a cyber attack. Human users can be exploited much easier than software. Malicious email links and spoofed email accounts are expected to be common hacking tools for years to come.