The year 2015 made it quite clear that cyber security is a major threat. Small and large businesses are at risk for assault, including malware, brute force attacks, and hackers. Those looking to be successful in 2016 should be aware of the dangers of insecure online activity.
If you don’t feel that cyber security is an issue, then consider the many attacks on businesses in the past few years, particularly the successful hacking case that affected Target in 2013. Hackers ended up stealing 40 million credit and debit card numbers.
Even though the company had recently installed a new malware system and used state-of-the-art systems, someone found a loophole and took advantage. This shows the vulnerability that faces every company when it comes to security.
Some of the facts about cyber security are frightening at best. When you’re running a business, it’s important to know about the threats you face.
Here are some security stats you should know:
1. More than 169 million personal records were exposed in 2015 from financial, business, education, government, and healthcare sectors.
The healthcare industry is at substantial risk when it comes to data breaches. HIPAA compliance is a difficult concept to master, and not all companies are up to scratch on the requirements. This is unfortunate, since healthcare data is the most expensive to lose, with the average stolen record costing $363 per record. That comes out to more than twice the average cost per stolen record in any industry.
2. Breaches continue to rise with 38 percent more security incidents detected in 2015 than in 2014.
This statistic is bringing a lot more attention to cyber security as a whole. Businesses of every size are learning that they’re not immune, no matter how small they are or how big their security team is. This fact stresses the importance of putting every conceivable cyber security measure in place to protect sensitive data.
3. Theft of “hard” intellectual property increased 56 percent in 2015.
“Hard” intellectual property refers to records that can directly hurt either a consumer or a business. Most data breaches are soft, meaning that the hacker obtained the records, but was not able to use the information or do any damage. This sharp rise in harmful breaches puts a stronger emphasis on the need for security.
4. Businesses are investing more in cyber security, but there are still holes.
Research from Symantec there were vulnerabilities in three quarters of all web sites, and cybercriminals haven’t stopped by any means. The good news is that things are looking better than they did a few years ago. Now, approximately half of all businesses have added several security initiatives to their websites.
5. Employees are the most cited source of compromised information.
Most of these breaches are accidental. An employee either wasn’t trained properly or made a mistake. On occasion, data breaches are the result of a greedy or angry employee looking to get personal gain from an attack. Thankfully, this isn’t entirely common.
6. Ransomware increased 35 percent in 2015.
The same research from Symantec showed that ransomware attacks are higher than ever as hackers actually take advantage of encryption. They use this distorted code specifically to target smartphones, Mac computers, and Linux systems. Security systems are working overtime to provide solutions for these security problems
These statistics are not meant to scare you away from running a business. On the contrary, the information here can be used to make you aware of the dangers that face your business.
Knowledge is power in this instance, and you can take steps to prevent your company from collapsing under a data breach.