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The cost (and likelihood) of a cyber attack

With over 90 million cyber-attacks occurring last year alone, it's no wonder that cyber crime is top of mind for every business owner. Even more surpisingly, 70% of these attacks go unnoticed. 

The Impact of Cyber Crime 

The average cost per data breach has steadily increased since 2012 - hitting $7 million last year. 

Attackers target financial information such as social security numbers, personal identity information, bank account info and credit card data that can be sold on the “Dark Web” in massive quantities. 

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Trending Threats

Industrial control systems, the Internet of Things, and Ransomware are increasingly popular targets. 

  • Industrial Control Systems are the connected systems of companies. Many existing systems were not built with cybersecurity at the forefront of their design, thus posing significant risks to supervisory control and date acquisition (SCADA) networks. 
  • The Internet of Things are devices that connected to the internet - everything from security monitoring systems to microwaves. 
  • Ransomware attacks on a business can bring operations to a halt and cause significant financial damage. These attacks, unlike more advanced attacks that can go undetected for extended periods of time before being notice, can be carried out by less technically sophisticated attackers with much less funding and resources. Some new methods hackers are using include attacking vulnerable web servers to gain entry into an organization’s network.  

Cost by Industry

Cyber attacks on the healthcare industry are by far the most costly, however many other industries face above average financial threats.

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*Record defined involves financial information such as credit cards, personal health information (PHI), bank details, intellectual property, etc.

Advice to Employers

The biggest risk for a cyber attack is your employees. Ensure all employers have the proper training to avoid iminent attacks and also put in place procedures if an attack occurs. 

Ask a Cyber Question


Source: “2016 Cost of Data Breach Study: United States.” Ponemon Institute LLC. IBM. June 2016. Web Accessed: April 2017.