The Threat and Severity of Cyber Attack Has Increased as Technology Evolves

Over the last several years, changing technology has improved the quality and efficiency of our lives, both online and offline.

Over the last several years, changing technology has improved the quality and efficiency of our lives, both online and offline. Some recently introduced “online” technologies include artificial intelligence integrations to websites, cryptocurrency, and comprehensive cloud computing. These technologies underpin the digital infrastructure that has allowed banking and commerce to live entirely on the web for the first time. Offline technologies are more nuanced but include many of the “Internet of Things” devices that control aspects of our daily physical life, including room temperature, physical building security, room lighting, and systems. It is estimated that there are 14.6 billion connected “Internet of Things” devices currently, with anticipated 18% growth in 2022 and almost 100% cumulative growth by 2027. As a result, there are an increasing number of endpoints for cyber attackers to target, and the stakes of a cyber attack are significantly higher than they were even a few years ago.

Some key growth statistics

  • From 2020 to 2021, the average cost of a data breach increased from $3.86 million to over $4.24 million per event. This is a record high figure and the largest single increase reported by IBM since they began tracking the prevalence of cyber attacks 17 years ago.
  • Corporations, governmental organizations, and individuals have all increased their cyber security commitments with an anticipated spend of over $172 billion in 2022
  • Identity, network, and endpoint security will continue to be emphasized, with an anticipated annual 24% increase in spending over the next five years.

(Source: GLOBAL X: Rising Cyber Security Threats Expected to Continue)

In the News

There have been several high-profile cyber attacks against organizations over the last twelve months. The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, one of the largest oil and petroleum producers in the United States, is most notable. The cyber attack ultimately cost the organization nearly $4.4 million and created widespread panic as Colonial’s infrastructure was offline for several days. (Source: Bloomberg News) In another instance, CNA Financial recently paid $40 million in crisis consulting and data breach security fees to recover their digital infrastructure, which had come under attack from ransomware in May 2021. At the same time, JBS S.A, a Brazil-based meat processing company, suffered an attack that crippled its ability to operate its various beef and pork slaughterhouses and ultimately cost the organization $11 million. (Source: Chicago Tribune, CNBC)    

The Cyber Response to the Growing Threat

There are a number of areas within cyber security that will continue to evolve as cyber attacks grow in intensity. Corporate investment in Identity Security is expected to increase by 19% annually over the next five years, focusing on Identity Access Management, Privileged Account Management, and Identity Governance & Administration. Network security will also be essential with an anticipated annual 24% growth from 2021 to 2026 and focus on Zero Trust Network access, Software-Defined Networking, and Firewall & Unified Threat Management. Endpoint security will also be critical with anticipated 8% growth and a focus on Endpoint Detection and Response, Protection, and Data Loss Prevention. (Source: GLOBAL X: Rising Cyber Security Threats Expected to Continue)

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