2020: Cybersecurity Landscape

The year is coming to an end, and it was certainly an eventful one. In 2020, hackers found new vulnerabilities and took advantage of people’s weaknesses. What was the result? Let’s take a look at some key 2020 numbers:

  1. 90% of companies experienced an increase in cyberattacks during COVID-19.

According to Tanium Global Research, 90% of executives said they experienced an increase in cyberattacks due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, 98% said the first problems began within two months of the global spread of COVID-19.

A majority of respondents – 93% – said they had to put off key security projects because they had to work on the company’s shift to remote work.

  1. Losses from cybercrime cost the world more than $1 trillion, equal to 1% of global GDP.

McAfee experts in their new report The Hidden Costs of Cybercrime say that in 2020, cybercriminals have caused at least $1 trillion in damages, which is just over 1% of global GDP.

The vast majority of companies (92%) state that cyberattacks caused them not only financial but also reputational losses. Unplanned downtime also increased and the costs of investigating breaches and disruptions began to rise gradually. Economic espionage, intellectual property theft, financial crime, and ransomware are the most expensive for companies.

  1. Cybersecurity investments will reach $123 billion in 2020.

According to Forbes, even though COVID-19 has forced many companies to cut the IT budget, cybersecurity investments went up in 2020. 89% of that investment concentrated in five areas: security services, infrastructure protection, network security, identity access management, and consumer security software.

  1. The carding market is up 116%.

Since last year, credit card fraud has grown from $880 million to nearly $2 billion. The rapid growth affects both text data (bank card numbers, expiration dates, owner names, addresses, CVVs) and dumps (magnetic stripe data). The maximum price for text data is $150 and $500 for dumps.

The data is mainly collected by infecting computers with malware via phishing. It can also be distributed via POS-terminals. The United States is the leading country in this race, accounting for over 92% of compromised bank cards. India and South Korea are next in line.

  1. The number of ransomware attacks increased by 130% in 2020.

Ransomware was the clear leader among cyberattacks in 2020. Interesting facts:

– Attacks on educational institutions, hospitals, and government organizations increased significantly.

– The average ransomware check has increased! Today it stands at $200,000.

– The U.S. ranks first among the countries with the highest number of ransomware attacks.

– October 2020 was the most intense month in terms of such cyberattacks.

  1. There is a worldwide shortage of 3.12 million cybersecurity professionals.

There exists an acute shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals today. Many companies are struggling to close positions! According to the Global Workforce Study (ISC) 2020, the global cybersecurity talent shortage has reached 3.12 million in 2020.

The number of open vacancies varies by region. In the Asia-Pacific region, for example, more than 2.04 million job offers available now. It is 66% of the total workforce shortage. Next comes Latin America – 527 thousand (17%) and North America – 376 thousand (12%). Europe trails the rating, requiring 168,000 skilled workers to protect companies from various cyberthreats.

  1. October 2020 – the highest number of cybersecurity breaches.

In October 2020, there were 117 cybersecurity incidents worldwide. The healthcare industry was particularly hard hit, as hackers targeted hospitals and carried out ransomware attacks.

Let’s break down the attacks in more detail:

– 41 unclassified cyber attacks

– 36 ransomware attacks

– 23 data breaches

– 8 financial information thefts

– 8 malicious insider attacks

Note that not all 2020 cyberattacks have been publicly reported, so this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  1. There are more than 2 million active phishing websites.

According to the Google Transparency Report, there were 2.046 million phishing websites online on December 6, 2020. That’s a 21% increase over last year (1.690 million).

  1. 52% of data breaches happened because of hackers.

According to Verizon, the biggest (52%) cause of data breaches was hacking. Phishing was 33%, and malware 28%.

Also, 34% of all data breaches were the fault of employees or others within the organization. 95% of all leaks are caused by the human factor and are often related to simple passwords.

  1. €28 million is the largest GDPR fine.

In 2020, Italian company TIM received the largest GDPR fine ever, almost €28 million. Why? The company sent hundreds of emails that customers didn’t sign up for, provided non-transparent data processing information, stored data longer than necessary, and ignored opt-outs for promotional calls.

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