10 Surprising Cyber Security Fun Facts & Stats

Did you know that the average data breach can cost a company $4.24 million? Because this is an all-time high, it’s critical that companies be aware of their cybersecurity tools and policies. It’s also important that investors understand the importance of data security so that they can make informed investments in cyber security funds.

Learning the top facts and stats about digital safety is one of the first steps towards greater knowledge and understanding. Read on to learn some cyber security fun facts that you should keep in mind when either investing or seeking funding from cyber-focused investors.

1. New Malware Samples Are Always Appearing

Hackers are constantly creating new malware to breach security systems to get around new cyber security barriers. This is a core reason that both hacking and digital security technologies are eternally evolving.

Between March 2021 and February 2022, there were 153 million new malware samples that cybercriminals were testing out. The previous year only saw 145.8 million new samples. This 5% increase illustrates that hackers are becoming craftier and more committed to data theft.

These figures include potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) in addition to simple malware. However, PUAs only constituted 4.66% of threats during the reporting period. Malware made up the other 95.34%, so it’s clear where business and investor priorities must lie.

2. Data Breaches Are at an All-Time High

The fact that data breaches can cost millions of dollars is problematic, but it’s even worse because these threats are at the highest levels we have ever seen. In fact, around 86% of worldwide organizations were successfully hit by an attack in 2021.

This global figure isn’t the only staggering statistic about 2021’s data breaches. The US alone had about 1862 data breaches in 2021.

This is a significant jump from both 2021 (1108 breaches) and 2017’s high record (1506 breaches). It amounts to a 68% increase in breaches across America.

3. There Are Multiple Types of Data Breaches

It’s important to learn about cyber security attacks statistics, but it’s also important to learn fun facts about cyber security types. To take a break from the numbers, let’s look at the main types of cyber threats that businesses and investors need to know about:

  • Malware → malicious software that breaches the network via a vulnerability so that it can restrict network access, install additional harmful software, obtain information from the hard drive, and make your network system unable to operate
  • Phishing → the act of sending fraudulent messages/emails and installing data-stealing malware when the recipient clicks on them)
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS) → an attack that overstimulates servers and networks to exhaust them so that they can no longer fill legitimate requests, creating an opening for cybercriminals to easily breach the network
  • Structured query language (SQL) injection → an attack where the criminal puts malicious codes onto an SQL server that force it to let them know information that it normally would not release

These are simply some of the basics, but the main thing to keep in mind is that there is no one-size-fits-all data breach. They come in multiple different forms.

4. Small Businesses Are the Primary Targets

As of 2019, the last time that related figures were reported, about 43% of cyberattacks targeted small businesses. Unfortunately, only 14% of SMBs are ready to defend themselves against these breaches. The ultimate impact is that affected small businesses must pay an average of $200,000 in damages.

This may seem like nothing compared to the overall $4.24 million figure. However, while most large enterprises can handle these enormous costs, $200,000 is a huge percentage of a startup’s budget. A breach is far more likely to drive a small business into the ground than a larger organization.

5. Hackers Use Stolen Information in Many Ways

But what exactly do hackers do with the information that they steal? This is an interesting question with many different answers.

Many cyber criminals use the data that they steal for their own ends. They buy items online with stolen credit cards and PayPal accounts. They access your bank account to apply for loans, find credit cards, make fraudulent insurance claims, and pay off debt.

However, some hackers make money off your data by selling it on the dark web. Paypal accounts- the most commonly listed items- go for an average of $156-$320 depending on the account size. Gmail accounts go for around $156 while credit card PINs and details only go for $12-$20.

Your valuable information is worth little on the dark web. However, when stolen in the large quantities that hackers are known to take, the profits add up to a hefty sum for these criminals.

6. Employee Training Can Prevent Cyberattacks

About 84% of data breaches are caused by those who already have access to the network. Employees can cause data breaches in many different ways, but the most common is falling for phishing emails.

About 74% of all organizations have had a data breach because of employee errors. Strangely, though, only about 28% of employers cite insider breaches as their top concern when it comes to cyber threats.

This is unfortunate since training employees effectively in what makes a legitimate email could drastically reduce the number of phishing problems. Teaching employees about all of the ways that data breaches happen could make them more vigilant. They also would know how to properly secure their individual computers against vulnerabilities to stop malware from penetrating their system and moving onto the network.

7. Cryptocurrency and the Metaverse Pose New Threats

Cyber security isn’t the only digital industry that’s changing. Cryptocurrency is blowing up fast and changing the way that people use the internet. Because crypto is a fairly new and eternally developing technology, the full scope of the changes that it will bring is unclear.

However, since the market is currently worth about $1.63 billion, it’s important that experts keep up with developments in the digital currency market. Crypto is also expected to grow at a rate of 13.8% annually, so changes will need to be constantly monitored. Security measures must match this growth, which projects the crypto market to be worth $2,73 billion in 2025.

As cryptocurrency grows, the metaverse- a digital avatar-based virtual reality- is also expected to get larger. Since people can experience real-world activities as though they are there, cybercriminals may take their hacking to a completely new reality. Developers are pushing for new technologies to combat potential threats from the metaverse, so hopefully they can keep up.

8. “Ethical Hacking” Can Keep Businesses Secure

Interested in fun facts about cyber security IT professionals as well as breaches? Look no further than ethical hacking, a procedure for testing a system for vulnerabilities.

The phrase “ethical hacking” may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s 100% moral and legal because of who is conducting the breach. An IT expert simulates a breach by installing fake malware onto the network that it’s testing. They can then see where the malware actually penetrates the security barriers and identify vulnerabilities.

This lets those who own the network see what holes they need to patch up in their security systems. It’s a great first step towards a stronger firewall and better authentication features.

9. The Cloud Can Actually Increase Cyber Security

Contrary to popular belief, storing data on a secure cloud protects it far more than an on-premise server could. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Simplified encryption to prevent data exposure
  • Network segmentation that prevents attacks from coming through machines
  • Automatic 24/7 monitoring of data (and alerts when something is wrong)
  • The lack of expensive hardware security
  • No physical objects for real-life criminals to steal

Enterprises that move to cloud storage are safer. Data is also more accessible to authorized users, so it has a variety of benefits.

10. Digital Security Makes an Excellent Investment

The common denominator of these cyber security breach and attack statistics is that the industry constantly requires growth. Since investors are constantly looking for growing markets to funnel money into, the cyber security industry is a great new frontier.

There are several benefits to making a digital security investment. Some of the best include (but are not limited to):

  • A high return on investment (ROI) potential
  • The latest cloud technology to store your data on
  • Secure means for sharing files
  • Access to the most up-to-date software
  • Increased trust among your employees and clients who no longer need to worry about their personal and financial information being stolen

Remember that when individuals and enterprises invest in cybersecurity, they don’t just get the chance to increase their initial capital. They also get concrete benefits and technologies that can assist them with daily growth.

Beyond Cyber Security Fun Facts

There are a plethora of ways that digital security concretely impacts both companies and investors. However, knowing the top cyber security fun facts is a surefire way to begin your research so that you can feel confident investing in this industry. Now that you know some of the top interesting cyber security facts, it’s time to get started.

Our experts are committed to giving you the best advisory services to help you find and develop investment opportunities in cybersecurity and adjacent technologies. That’s why we’re excited to discuss the ways that you can obtain the venture capital needed for growth. Contact Option3Ventures today to discuss your cybersecurity investing needs.

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