Cybersecurity Threats Cost Billions Per Year

Posted by Richard on May 4, 2022

Amid a tense global geopolitical environment, experts warn that the United States could face severe cyber attacks. Computers and the internet offer convenience, making it easier to find information, coordinate large organizations and more. Yet the increasingly interconnected web also raises risks and makes organizations and entire nations more vulnerable to attacks.
In sum total, these attacks cost many billions of dollars per year. IBM reports that the average data breach, which occurs when someone steals sensitive data, cost $4.24 million in 2021, up from $3.86 million in 2020. Sum Logic found that general cyber attacks cost $133,000 in 2020. Some organizations argue that the total annual cost of cyber-crimes could exceed a trillion dollars.
Countless pieces of infrastructure rely on the internet and connected hardware and software. Hospitals, for example, use devices and networks to store medical records and coordinate care, such as dispatching ambulances or assigning patients to medical providers. Cyber attacks on hospitals could prevent patients from receiving timely and appropriate treatment or expose their private information.
Meanwhile, Colonial Pipeline shut down a fuel pipeline after an attack, causing gas prices to spike and forcing Americans to pay more at the pump. The company also forked over $5 million in ransom. Investigators later recovered some of the ransom money, but experts believe that the total costs exceeded tens of millions of dollars.
Authorities may also slap companies with fines. Equifax paid at least $575 million for its 2017 breach, while U.K. authorities hit Marriott with more than $20 million in penalties. Target likewise paid $18.5 million. Add it all up, and multi-billion or even trillion-dollar price tags are completely plausible.