Published August 12, 2019 • By Ben Lack

Recent research indicates that costs associated with cyberattacks are growing rapidly, particularly for businesses.

In 2018, there were over 6,500 publicly disclosed data breaches. That’s up from 5,000 reported in 2017.

The 2018 breaches exposed 5 billion sensitive records, two-thirds of them stemming from the business sector, according to a report from Risk Based Security. However, that’s down from 7.8 billion compromised records in 2017. 

The average cost to a company that suffers a data breach is nearly $4 million.

Because cybersecurity threats loom for companies of all sizes, the need for security systems should be a top priority.

Here are reasons why cybersecurity is important for businesses:

  • Rising costs of breaches: While it’s true cyberattacks can wreak havoc on an organization’s finances, it’s not just about the money. A data breach can also severely damage a company’s reputation. Customers may lose trust in firms that suffer cyberattacks and opt to do business with their competitors. Additionally, organizations that don’t implement data protection measures to protect customer data, intellectual property, or other sensitive information may not attract new business. 
  • More sophisticated cyberattacks: To avoid suffering data breaches, businesses must implement stronger controls to help them detect and respond to more advanced malicious activity before it can cause damage and disrupt operations.
  • Increase of hacking tools: The availability of hacking tools and programs means that even less skilled hackers can successfully breach corporate computer systems. 
  • Proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices: More devices than ever are connected to the internet—estimates indicate that there will be 27.1 billion connected devices worldwide by 2021. Cybercriminals can exploit IoT device vulnerabilities, if not secured properly, to hack into a company’s systems and steal sensitive data.