Cybercrime: Frightening Cyber Security Facts

Nov 20, 2022

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Cybercrime, which encompasses criminal activities involving computers, networks, or networked devices, has emerged as a significant threat in today’s digital age. The motivations behind these crimes range from financial gain to causing disruption. As the Cybersecurity industry expands rapidly to meet these challenges, it is essential to understand the full scope of cybercrime and its implications.


Cyber Crime Has Skyrocketed


The Explosive Growth of Cybercrime

  • Skyrocketing Incidence: Over recent years, cybercrime incidents such as cyber espionage, malware, and phishing schemes have surged dramatically.
  • Economic Impact: Experts predict that by 2021, cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion, and the cybersecurity market will grow to $1 trillion.
  • FBI’s Most Wanted: The FBI lists 30 cybercriminals responsible for massive consumer losses, ranging from $350,000 to $100 million.


Broad Reach of Cybercrime

  • Affects Millions: Every year, cybercrime affects over 594 million people, with the United States losing $100 billion.
  • High-Profile Targets: Cyberattacks target both individuals and large organizations, such as the U.S. Navy, which receives 110,000 cyberattacks per hour.
  • Significant Data Breaches: In 2016, thieves stole the personal medical records of about 100 million Americans.


Financial Toll on Organizations

  • Cost to Businesses: On average, cybercrime costs organizations $11.7 million annually.
  • Increased Risks: Factors like cloud computing and bring-your-own-device policies heighten vulnerabilities.
  • Major Incidents: For example, Target suffered losses exceeding $202 million due to a 2013 data breach.


Emerging Threats with IoT

  • New Avenues for Attack: The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) has provided cybercriminals with new targets, often exploiting poorly secured devices.
  • High-Profile Attacks: In 2016, Symantec identified hundreds of thousands of bots used in significant attacks on IoT devices.


Social Media and Mobile Devices

  • Expanding Attack Surfaces: As users increasingly rely on social media and mobile devices, these platforms have become prime targets for cybercriminals.
  • Social Media Vulnerabilities: Hackers exploit users’ tendencies to share personal information and trust links from friends, leading to attacks like “like-jacking.”
  • Mobile Scams: SMS scams are rising, with cybercriminals exploiting direct billing connections to generate substantial profits.


Ransomware and Its Impact

  • Ransomware Surge: The U.S. is particularly vulnerable, with 64% of victims willing to pay ransoms, compared to 34% globally.
  • Financial Impact: In 2017, the average ransom demand was $1,077 per victim.


Alarming Cybersecurity Statistics

  • Human Error: 95% of data breaches result from human error.
  • Frequency: A cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds.
  • Small Business Targets: 43% of Cyberattacks target small businesses.
  • Email Vulnerability: 75% of Cyberattacks start with an email.
  • Cost of Breaches: For SMEs, the global average cost of a data breach is $3.9 million.
  • Pandemic Impact: The FBI has reported a 300% increase in cybercrimes since the onset of COVID-19.
  • Detection Delay: Major companies take nearly 6 months on average to detect a data breach.
  • File Protection: Only 5% of company folders are properly protected.
  • Data Exposure: Data breaches exposed 36 billion records in the first half of 2020.
  • Motivations: 86% of breaches are financially motivated, while 10% are driven by espionage.
  • File Theft: Every day, thieves steal 4 million files, or 44 per second.
  • Customer Responsibility: We predict that the customer is responsible for 95% of cloud security failures.
  • Malicious File Extensions: Microsoft Office formats are the most commonly used malicious file extensions.
  • Email Entry Point: 94% of malware attacks start with an email.
  • Cost Projections: By 2021, cybercrime is expected to cost $6 trillion.
  • Geographical Variance: The Netherlands has the lowest rate of cybercrime, while Russia has the highest.



The rapid rise of cybercrime presents a formidable challenge to businesses and individuals. As cybercriminals continuously adapt and find new methods to exploit vulnerabilities, it is vital to stay informed, implement robust security measures, and promote cybersecurity awareness to safeguard against this ever-evolving threat.