Modern corporations are moving toward enabling their employees to work remotely using mobile devices. At the same time, companies have embarked on a fast track to digitizing their business and automating operations. Although these are positive actions, they have also increased cyber risks. Companies are now faced with the task of developing a comprehensive security assessment plan for remote users accessing the network and protecting their digital assets.

Unless you have found a way to hide from the global media, you know that hacks and data breaches occur regularly to both large and small firms. In some instances, security breaches even cause irreparable damage to a company’s image, turning their disasters into bad examples to be used by security firms positioning their solutions. To avoid damage to both operations and reputation, corporations need to be concerned about cybersecurity.

How Did We Get Here?

This all started with Apple’s introduction of the smartphone in 2007, which was followed by the release of the iPad and a host of other smart devices. Corporations now have access to the Internet at speeds that have grown by a multiple of six times. In short, companies can do more than they used to via data, video, etc. online. And then there’s the recent cloud services explosion. Today, it is commonplace for tasks such as online document sharing and application development to be spun up on a virtual machine that’s available to every user’s device, and databases are accessible from everywhere at any time. IBM Cloud, Amazon, Microsoft Azure, Oracle, and Google Cloud Services are the cloud enablers that we talk about daily, but these options have only been available since 2006. These devices and services have exponentially increased our capabilities, and we’re adding more every month.

Cybercrime Crashes the Party

This rapid growth and use of technology has opened the door for a rise in cybercrime. At first, it was hackers hoping for a quick payday by unleashing ransomware on a single computer. This has evolved all the way up to the extreme level of foreign state-sponsored hackers, who use cybercrime as a method of waging war who view it as cheaper, faster, and easier type of conflict that can cripple companies in the short term.

By the Numbers

Cybercrime statistics are scary, and they provide a strong argument for a greater focus on cybersecurity. However, it is fair to say that some corporations have become a little desensitized to the data, or that the sheer scale of the numbers makes them hard to take in and understand.

For instance, it’s estimated that the global cost of cybercrime for 2017 added up to around $600 billion. The number gets larger every year, and by 2021 experts are suggesting the number will approach $6 trillion per year. That’s an astronomical figure, and it’s difficult to take anything away from it as an individual. In my opinion, it’s better to focus on statistics that are more relatable to you personally, the ones that correspond to your role in your business. For example: Did you know that that 50% of firms have had their network or data compromised in the last year?

If your firm has been fortunate to have not experienced being in the thick of such an attack, the fact that it happens to more than half of companies in a year suggests it could well be your turn soon. The gigantic, scary statistics on the news are the final sum of all the damage dealt by cyberattacks big and small that happen all the time, and it’s vital that we remember that the danger is more than a lofty number on a headline. Protecting our data and our systems does more than keep us off of the headlines – it keeps our businesses running without interruption and our people employed with stable, reliable jobs.