Data theft is a very real threat for companies of all sizes. You hear about breaches on the news all the time, is your business in any serious danger? The current statistics on data security may surprise you.
Data Theft Statistics
Since 2005, there have been 7,834 data breaches in the U.S., the total cost of which was approximately $6.53 million. Nearly 1 billion records were exposed, and each record cost businesses an average of $217.
The U.S. ranks third in the world for the number of records compromised by cybercrime. About 47 percent of all attacks can be attributed to malicious activity, although human error also accounts for a large number of incidents.
What Small Businesses Should Know
Small businesses are prime targets for hackers, but many aren’t aware of the severity of the threat. Around half of all small and medium businesses in the U.S. reported being victims of an attack within the last year. Unfortunately, 60 percent of small businesses experiencing these types of breaches go out of business within six months.
The two most common threats to small businesses are web-based attacks and phishing, accounting for 49 percent and 39 percent of attacks, respectively. Small business owners cite employee negligence as the biggest cause, blaming it for 49 percent of breaches. Passwords are often the major weak points in these incidents.
What Large Companies Should Know
Hackers also like to target bigger industries with more detailed records. The financial sector is a particularly big industry for breaches, suffering 642 total incidents in 2014. Healthcare also ranks high, citing 2.32 million Americans as victims of medical identity theft prior to or during 2014.
Across enterprises as a whole, 60 percent were expected to discover some kind of breach in 2015. The actual number may have been higher if you consider how 7 percent of breaches go unnoticed for a full year. One particularly worrisome problem is the 59 percent of employees who walk off with proprietary data if they quit or get fired. This makes employee satisfaction of tantamount importance in all businesses.
As shocking as some of the numbers may be, don’t let the high risk of data theft lead you to react in fear. Focus on raising awareness within your company and implementing strong security measures to protect the data you handle. Practicing vigilance is the best way to keep your business safe from hackers.