It’s Been a Wild Year in the Cyberworld!
From Brexit to Donald Trump, 2016 as a year that felt… well, hacked. With a cacophony of current events that shook the global community to the core, cybersecurity found itself increasingly at the centre of the largest conversations. These stats will bear that out.
Cybersecurity 2016: The Year of the Phish?
Were there a cybersecurity zodiac, 2016 would have been the year of the phish. For proof, look no further than the starting point of the (Russian-led) Democratic National Committee hack that potentially cost Hillary Clinton the U.S. Presidential election or the massive spikes in spear-phishing and whaling attacks. Ransomware and mobile malware were also on a steep ascent, largely buoyed by the prevalence of phishing.
For a clearer picture of the year that was, allow us to paint with numbers. Here are 10 crazy cybersecurity statistics from 2016.
1. Ransomware Jumped 6000% in 2016 — Costing Businesses $1B
There was a HUGE increase in ransomware in 2016 compared to 2015, with over 70% of businesses targeted agreeing to pay out hackers’ demands. CNBC cites an IBM study showing that most were infected by spam emails and of those who paid, 50% paid more than $10,000 and 20% paid more than $40,000. The total bill for these attacks? Over $1,ooo,ooo,ooo (zeros added for emphasis).
2. Targeted by Ransomware Target – Every 40 Seconds
Ransomware has been on such a meteoric rise in 2016, hackers are now targeting a new business every 40 seconds according to Kaspersky Lab. Another crazy cybersecurity statistic? Ransomware hitches a ride on 97% of phishing emails.
3. 91% of Hacks Started With a Phishing Email
Hillary Clinton and the DNC were in abundant company this year. According to a report by PhishMe, 9 out of 10 cyber attacks started with a fraudulent email. The reason most people took the bait? The report says: curiosity (13.7%), fear (13.4%), and urgency (13.2%), followed by reward/recognition, social, entertainment and opportunity.
4. Whaling up 1300%
Business email compromise, otherwise known as CEO fraud and whaling, was up 1300% in 2016 according to a report by PhishMe. Spear phishing is also up 55% according to the same report.
5. 400,000+ New Phishing Sites — Every Month
In 2016, nearly half a million phishing sites were detected each month though most (84%) were up for less than 24 hours, according to SC Magazine citing Webroot’s Quarterly Threat Trends. These short lifespans make it difficult for cybersecurity tools to detect and block the sites, and it is especially dangerous for users as they are often buried in benign domains including Google, Yahoo, Apple and Paypal.
6. 200,000+ New Malware Samples — Every Day
According to a report by APWG’s Crimeware, over 200,000 new malware samples were found daily in the first half of the year. The craziest part? That’s actually slightly down from 2015! It’s cold comfort though: hackers are just using easily modified variants on malware and ransomware.
7. Yahoo has the Biggest Data Breach EVER (for now)
Though the hack occurred in 2013, Yahoo only recently released the news that over one billion email accounts were compromised. The Atlantic notes among the information stolen was: “names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and password hashes, which are strings of characters that help a website check whether or not an entered password is correct.” Answers to security questions may have also been leaked, essentially opening the door for hackers to accounts.
8. Organizations Spent $73.7 billion on Cybersecurity
The International Data Corporation projects cybersecurity spending would hit $73.7 billion in 2016, up 38% on the year before according to Fortune. Even crazier? It’s expected to hit over $100 billion in 2020. And given all these stats on cybersecurity, and the amount of attention it’s getting…it might even happen sooner.
9. 79% of Security Teams Didn’t Feel Confident Against External Threats.
For cybersecurity and IT experts, this statistic should be jaw-dropping. A Ponemon Research report shows, “an astonishing 79% of security teams do not feel that they have processes in place to gain actionable intelligence about external threats. In fact, almost half of those teams —38% percent of the total respondents— say that they don’t have any kind of external monitoring process in place.” Yikes.
10. 93% of Security Managers Overwhelmed
If these crazy cybersecurity stats are any indication, it has been an insane year for security operations centre managers. According to a report by McAfee, nearly all of them (93%) feel overwhelmed and unable to triage potential threats.
If you count yourself among this group and need some help, start your New Year’s resolutions early by reaching out to a reputable cybersecurity expert like those at Vircom today.
These are but a few of the many crazy cybersecurity stats that have been coming out of this past year, an undeniably game-changer in the field. Here’s to a safe and happy 2017!