A number of recent high-end data breaches that were followed by a rash of cyberattacks on leading retailers Target, Neiman Marcus, and Home Depot have turned the spotlight on the growing threat of breaches and the need for increased cybersecurity investment.
Cybersecurity Investment Important than ever Before
- The first three months of 2014 witnessed 254 data breaches that resulted in more than 200 million records lost or stolen.
- That is an exorbitant 233 percent year-over-year increase, according to security reports.
- Data records were hacked in the first fiscal quarter (Q1) of 2014 at an alarming rate of around 70 million every month, 2 million every day, and 90,000 every hour. It is to be noted that these statistics only represent breaches that were reported.
- Many data breaches go unreported. Some go undetected by victimized firms.
- While others are not reported because the stolen data is not important enough that it requires notifying impacted customers.
- Moreover, out of the many hacks this year, 46 percent of the data breaches did not report the number of records that were stolen or lost.
- The healthcare industry topped the data breaches list in Q1, with 24 percent of hacks.
- Data breaches at financial services, IT firms, and government organizations came in second with 14 percent, while the retail industry was placed third with 10 percent.
This is precisely why companies will be spending more money than ever before on cybersecurity in the future.
- The National University of Singapore and intel agency Information Data Corporation (IDC) has forecast that global firms will spend more than 500 billion in 2015 to thwart data breaches.
- Home improvement retail giant Home Depot announced the loss of 56 million credit/debit cards of customers across 2,200 of its stores in the United States.
- The breach at retail leader Target cost the company a whopping $148 million in revenue.
- eBay suffered a huge embarrassment when it fell victim to one of 2014’s biggest hacks. In May this year, hackers managed to steal personal records of 255 million eBay users.
- The breach took place between February and March 2014, with usernames, encrypted passwords, mail, and physical addresses, and phone numbers were stolen.
- The Montana Health Department revealed that a breach may have impacted more than 1 million people. The attack happened in July 2013 but was not discovered until May 2014.
- The hackers were able to gain personal information such as medical records, social security numbers (SSN), medical insurance records, birth certificates, names, and addresses.
- F. Chang’s, a chain restaurant, fell victim to a huge data breach in June 2014 that compromised customer payment information.
- Though it is not clear as to how many were affected but thousands of newly siphoned credit/debit cards were posted for sale on the Internet on June 9, 2014.
Assuring customers that their financial and personal information is safe is the key to the survival of any organization today.