The Information Age created an insatiable desire to make decisions based on facts and data, rather than intuition, whether it be credit decisions, medical decisions, industrial decisions or other types of behavioral decisions. All of this lead to a creation of vast amounts of data being collected on any number of things, events or situations. As data becomes more readily available and our ability to process that data has become more efficient through the use of SaaS programs, decision engines, scoring algorithms and the like, we as consumers have also come to expect a greater level of speed and efficiency as it relates to access. Access to what?, you might ask; quite simply the answer is access to everything. We want quick access to credit application decisions, quick access to our bank account information, quick access to the internet, quick access to our doctors, quick access to service providers ect. And thus we created things like; online banking, patient portals and service apps which has opened the door for an “always on” environment. While this phenomenon has certainly solved many problems it has also created huge problems too.
Cybersecurity is one problem in particular that is ever increasing and evolving and all too often individuals and organizations alike are unaware. Cyber criminals are constantly attempting to breach the vast amounts of data that has been collected and continues to be collected and these attempts are coming at an alarming rate. According to a recent article in techjury.net here are “The Most Telling Cyber Security Statistics in 2020”:
- It takes half a year to detect a data breach.
- 43% of all cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses.
- 91% of attacks launch with a phishing email.
- A business falls victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds.
- 38% of malicious attachments are masked as one Microsoft Office type of file or another.
- Cyber criminals managed to exploit the credit cards of 48% of Americans back in 2016.
- The global cost of online crime is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021.
If as a society and a business community we are not ready to defend ourselves then we could be in real trouble. And, this is not a problem that can be placed at the feet of IT professional alone to solve. This issue must be attacked through a culture of cybersecurity understanding and awareness of not only how these attacks happen but why. As business organizations we need to be looking at our entire enterprises to understand where our exposures are from personnel, to networks, to third parties, to end points and everything in between. And as individuals we need to be diligent in our behaviors and expectations of operating our daily lives in a manner that is safe and secure.
Be safe out there!