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Cybercrime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion by 2021

Cybersecurity threats are only going to continue with new threats emerging daily. Companies need to be prepared to keep track of new threats while tackling old ones.

cyber crime
Image: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion a year by 2021. Cybercrime is one of the fastest-growing crimes worldwide – especially during COVID-19, with cybercriminals taking advantage of companies transitioning to remote-working setups. Some of the costs included in this figure include damage and destruction of data, embezzlement, theft of financial data, fraud, etc.

While larger companies are most at risk when it comes to cybercrime, smaller businesses are not immune to these attacks. $6 trillion is a significant number, and with plenty of data and security breaches happening across the world, companies must take the necessary steps to bolster their cybersecurity. 

The truth about online office safety 

A recent survey conducted indicated that most employees believe that there was no issue with the cybersecurity in their office. Interestingly, businesses with fewer employees felt that their digital information was insecure, but only 15% felt that their digital information was at risk. Worryingly, out of these respondents, more than 2 in 5 had spoken with their employer about poor workplace cybersecurity habits, but less than half were responsive to their concerns. 

With businesses not taking cybersecurity safely, they run the risk of having important data stolen along with networks being compromised. For example, in 2017 the WannaCry ransomware attack hit over 230,000 computers across 150 countries. It caused over $4 billion in financial losses, with the attack locking users out of their files and demanding a BitCoin ransom to regain access. 

The importance of employee training 

For those companies that aren’t taking cybersecurity seriously, it starts off within the business. These companies failed to provide training to employees in regards to cybersecurity best practices. With that, employees weren’t following the right password protocols, backing up their data, and updating or patching their software. 

With organizations not keeping up to date with software patching or adding multi-factor authentication (MFA) to all password-enabled systems, it allows attackers to steal credentials and exploit known vulnerabilities. It’s crucial for organizations to protect their company against cybersecurity threats by encouraging employees to use strong passwords, keeping software updated, strengthening their network, set up web and email filters, and more. 

A strong password is key 

Even something as simple as having a strong password can go a long way. When companies aren’t concerned about their cybersecurity, they tend to use passwords that are fewer than 12 characters, have no special characters, and are used across multiple accounts and devices. With guessing passwords being one of the most common ways, hackers break into computers, having a secure password is vital. 

Some of the common cybersecurity issues resulting from weak passwords include phishing – which involves emails containing malicious attachments or links, malware, or viruses that can corrupt data or take over a system and data breaches. 

Having the right staff 

While most companies do have on-site technical staff that helps with countermeasures such as patching systems, installing anti-virus software, and educating employees on best cybersecurity practices, not all companies have hired such individuals. Small companies that are on a budget, in particular, tend to take cybersecurity for granted even though 60% of small businesses that fall victim to an attack end up shutting down six months after. 

Without having a dedicated technology department or staff, such companies are not only seen as reckless by their employees, the financial losses, high costs, and reputational damage can be costly and unrepairable. If creating a dedicated technology department or hiring staff is expensive, companies can consider outsourcing their security services to a managed service provider that can take the wheel and help with threat detection, prevention, and even business continuity planning. 

An ongoing threat 

Cybersecurity threats are only going to continue with new threats emerging daily. Companies need to be prepared to keep track of new threats while tackling old ones. Whether it’s training staff, creating the appropriate measures, or outsourcing security services, having the proper cybersecurity infrastructure in place can help companies deal with the evolving cyber threat landscape. 

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