As civilisation becomes increasingly dependent on advances in technology, cyber-crime has concurrently become prevalent. According to the annual report conducted by Cybersecurity Ventures (2019), cyber-crime poses the greatest threat to every company in the world and presents one of the biggest problems with mankind. They predict that cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015 .
With humanity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizational workforces endeavour to conduct their duties in remote settings, which has exacerbated pre-existing cyberthreats (Vmware Carbon Black, 2020) . Some alarming statistics outlined by (Swinhoe, 2020) , demonstrate the data breach scope which is pertinent to the UK;
- Up to 88% of UK companies have suffered breaches in the last 12 months, Carbon Black reports. That is lower than in Germany (92%), France (94%), and Italy (90%).
- One small business in the UK is successfully hacked every 19 seconds, according to Hiscox. Around 65,000 attempts to hack small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) occur in the UK every day, around 4,500 of which are successful. That equates to around 1.6 million of the 5.7 million SMBs in the UK per year. Cisco estimates 53% of SMBs suffered a security breach globally in 2018
- Data breaches cost UK enterprises an average of $3.88 million per breach, according to IBM and Ponemon’s Cost of a Data Breach Study. That’s slightly lower than the global average of $3.92 million. The UK also has a smaller average size of breaches; 23,600 in the UK versus 25,575 globally.
- Thirty-three per cent of UK organizations say they lost customers after a data breach. A Forrester study of UK and US companies found 38% had lost business because of security issues.
- Forty-four per cent of UK consumers claim they will stop spending with a business temporarily after a security breach, and 41% claim they will never return to a business post-breach, compared to 83% and 21% for customers in the US.
The severity of cyber-attacks pose a threat to national security and businesses worldwide, therefore, companies must implement well-defined software upgrade procedures should use secure networks like virtual local area networks, and conduct regular penetration tests of their systems (Williams et al, 2020) .
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1. Cybersecurity Ventures. (2020) ‘The 2020 Official Annual Cybercrime Report’. Herjavic Group. 2020. (Available at: https://www.herjavecgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/CV-HG-2019-Official-Annual-Cybercrime-Report.pdf)
2. Vmware Carbon Black. (2020) ‘COVID-19 continues to create a larger surface area for Cyberattacks’ (Available at: https://www.carbonblack.com/resources/covid-19-continues-to-create-a-larger-surface-area-for-cyberattacks/)
3. Swinhoe, D. (2020) ‘UK Cybersecurity statistics you need to know’ (Available at: https://www.csoonline.com/article/3440069/uk-cybersecurity-statistics-you-need-to-know.html#:~:text=One%20small%20business%20in%20the,4%2C500%20of%20which%20are%20successful.)
4. Williams CM, Chaturvedi R, Chakravarthy K (2020) ‘Cybersecurity Risks in a Pandemic’ J Med Internet Res 2020;22(9):e23692 (Available at: https://www.jmir.org/2020/9/e23692/#ref4)