The Bone-Chilling Reality Of Data Breaches

By Chris Powell

Halloween is upon us once again. It’s the time of year when we see scary stuff, things like ghosts, goblins, scary clowns, children on sugar highs running through the streets – and data breaches.

This year we have seen more data breaches occur at major companies than ever before. High profile companies such as Michael’s, Target and Home Depot have all been cyber attacked. And then there’s Equifax, which recently had one of the worst data breaches in history. Due to its inefficient security practices, Equifax is looking at having to compensate its customers for its data breach.

It’s a scary time in terms of protecting your data.

Michelle Singletary, a Washington Post columnist, wrote an excellent piece about the terror consumers are experiencing as a result of poor data security practices. In her article she notes two bone-chilling statistics:

  • Cybersecurity giant, McAfee, reports in the first quarter of 2017 there were 244 new cyber-threats every minute. That’s more than four threats every second.
  • The same report notes that ransomware grew by 59 percent in the past four quarters. Ransomware, which is spread primarily through spam, allows a hacker to lock you out of your computer by encrypting your files. Then the hacker demands payment for you to get access to your own data.

If that’s not enough to make you crawl under your bed and hide, check out this ITSP Magazine article by Chuck Brooks, Vice President of Government Relations & Marketing for Sutherland Government Solutions. Here, Mr. Brooks provides terrifying numbers that will turn a CFO’s hair white:

  • IDC estimates worldwide businesses will spend $101.6 BILLION on cybersecurity in 2020. That is a 38 percent increase from 2016, with Western Europe coming in second at $19.5 billion. Learn more.
  • Only 38 percent of global companies claim they are prepared to handle a sophisticated cyberattack.

Cybersecurity is a significant business issue and one that must be addressed in companies of all sizes. It is critical to protect data from attacks to preserve customers’ information and your company’s reputation. Take the time to get prepared about the reality of ransomware.

The call is coming from inside the house.