cyberattack

Cybercrime to Top $6 Trillion in 2021, According to Cybersecurity Ventures

A report produced by Cybersecurity Ventures sees cybercrimes skyrocketing in 2021

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Fuel is flowing once again through the country’s largest fuel pipeline, but the recent cyberattack against Colonial Pipeline has brought renewed attention to the growing threat that ransomware attacks and other cybercrimes pose to businesses big and small.

“I think [people] need to consider that cybercrime has grown to the level of COVID. It is attacking everywhere, everywhere, all the time,” said Jack Blount, CEO of Intrusion, a Plano-based cybersecurity company. “There is a business breached every 39 seconds of the day, 24/7/365. Cybercrime is out of control.”

A report from McAfee estimated that global losses from cybercrime topped $1 trillion in 2020, and they are expected to skyrocket to more than $6 trillion in 2021, according to a report produced by Cybersecurity Ventures, which was sponsored by Intrusion.

“Do you realize what a huge number that is?” Blount asked. “It is impacting every business in the world every day, and yet most people have their head stuck in the sand and they are unaware of it.”

By many accounts, the COVID-19 pandemic escalated cybercrime because so many businesses moved their people to work remotely, which opened up more potential points of attack.

A mistake that is made far too often, according to Blount, the CEO of Intrusion, is that people wrongly assume the criminals only target major businesses.

“A couple of years ago breaches typically happened to larger businesses because they could make a lot more profit off of them. But the nature of cybercrime has changed to a computerized attack instead of an individual-driven attack. The computer doesn’t know the size of your business when it attacks, it just knows an IP address,” Blount said.

Another common misunderstanding, according to Blount, is they assume that a breach happens in one fell swoop, with the criminals accessing your data through a ransomware attack and immediately moving to capitalize on that access. In reality, Blount said that the majority of networks will be infected by various forms of malware for months or years, giving cybercriminals access to data, passwords, and financial information long before the user is ever aware of the breach.

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