Technology |April 9, 2019

The current state and the real costs of cyber attacks

Jeff Gendron
April 9, 2019
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Studies and surveys are presenting trends that cybersecurity attacks and data breaches on small and medium businesses are continuing to increase:

These attacks are also becoming more powerful and more difficult to prevent. The Ponemon Institute’s report on the 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB) revealed that 61% of SMB companies experienced a cyber-attack, up from 51% in 2016. A 2018 study from Cisco shows that 53% of midmarket companies have experienced a data breach. Of those who experienced a breach, 29% said those breaches cost upwards of $100K, while 20% reported costs between $1,000,000 and $2,499,000.
This whitepaper is intended to bring some clarity on the landscape while offering approaches that small businesses can take to improve their security posture and their readiness in the event of an attack.

Megatrends:

The Ponemon Institute’s 2018 Study on Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity gives us a view into what the next three years will bring. This study was commissioned to focus on larger organizations, but what we have seen in the realm of cybersecurity at the enterprise level, we will soon see for small and medium businesses.

These are the results from that study:

- 82% predict data breaches through unsecured IoT devices. 80% predict that it could catastrophic.
- 67% expect cyber extortion, such as ransomware, and data breaches will continue to increase.
- 22% say cyber warfare from nation states against government and industry will be a high risk.
- Only 36% stated that cybersecurity is considered a strategic priority by senior leadership, with 68% reporting that their boards of directors are not being briefed on what is being done to prevent or mitigate.
- 53% state that the lack of suitable technologies and inability to hire and retain security staff will be the cause of the decline in improving the security posture in the next three years.

With the continuing advance of disruptive technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud Computing, it’s reasonable to correlate what enterprise organizations have been implementing over the last few years, as a bellwether for what we are seeing small and medium businesses adopt in growing numbers today.

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