To say life as we know it has changed this year would be quite the understatement. Daily life, once conducted in person, has now gone nearly completely virtual. And, it literally happened overnight. While the upstanding citizens of the world try to find ways to connect, collaborate and move forward, the bad actors have upped their game – and are expanding their base.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a primary trigger for change. For example, 53% of companies say that the shift to a remote workforce has driven new tactics. It’s not just internal responses driving change, though. The attacks coming from the outside are taking advantage of the disruption.
Research conducted by Cybernews suggests an unprecedented amount of interest in hacking and cybercrime during this global pandemic. In fact, their review of Google search trends indicates that during the months of March, April and May 2020, online searches related to hacking, scamming and other forms of cybercrime skyrocketed. Additionally, visits to popular hacking websites and forums increased by 66% in March 2020 alone.
Is this sudden interest in malicious cyber behavior a product of desperate times, call for desperate measures? Or, are outdated and unsecure systems allowing cybercriminals to leverage fear and uncertainty to profit at your expense? Whatever the case, cyberattacks exploiting the pandemic are showing no sign of slowing down.
Here’s the 2020 story, so far.
Let’s start with some basic hacking statistics. First, how many cyberattacks per day happen worldwide?
- 30,000 websites are hacked daily.
- 64% of companies have experienced at least one form of a cyberattack.
- Each second, 75 records go missing.
- About 94% of all malware is spread through email.
- An average of 24,000 malicious mobile apps are blocked daily on the internet.
Of course, as we continue to stay home and move further into a virtual era, our digital footprints are growing.
1. There are approximately 300 billion passwords out there today – that’s an average of 38.4 passwords per person worldwide.
The truth is large-scale cybersecurity breaches are growing in both intensity and frequency this year.
2. 65% of companies have more than 1,000 stale user accounts.
3. As of early July 2020, there were 15 billion credentials available on cybercriminal marketplaces.
4. The number of data records exposed in the first quarter of 2020 climbed sharply to 8.4 billion – that’s a 273% increase compared to first quarter of 2019.
5. At least 16 billion records, including credit card numbers, home addresses, phone numbers and other highly sensitive information have been exposed through data breaches since 2019.
For example, ransomware operators are demanding more from their victims.
6. The average ransom payment is $111,605, up 33% from the last quarter of 2019.
And, identity theft continues to be a substantial part of cyberattacks each and every year.
7. Approximately 60 million Americans are victims of identity theft every year – costing them around $15 billion annually.
8. There will be a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by 2021. By that time, the global cost will be $20 billion yearly.
9. By 2023, cybercriminals will steal 33 billion records.
10. Mobile device infection vectors have expanded and bypassed security protections, placing malicious apps in official app stores. One threat actor used an international corporation’s Mobile Device Management system to distribute malware to more than 75% of its managed mobile devices.
11. Increased reliance on public cloud storage due to the pandemic has led to an increase in attacks targeting sensitive cloud workloads and data.
Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the work-from-home crowd.
12. Since the beginning of the year, more than 3,300 new domain names containing the word “Zoom” have been registered – and over 30% of these have activated an email server, which is an indication that they are being used to process phishing attacks.
13. Attackers are changing Domain Name System (DNS) settings in routers, pointing users to what they believe to be legitimate websites with a pop-up message containing COVID-19 information. However, once a user clicks, a fake coronavirus-related app with malware may be downloaded.
14. 47% of all vulnerable devices on home networks are cameras. But don’t blame just your camera. An average U.S. household has 17 IoT devices, and most of them have some kind of vulnerability.
15. However, in an effort to trim expenses, 40% of global organizations have cut their cybersecurity budgets during COVID-19, although 56% of them plan to continue widespread remote work post-pandemic.