12 Must Know Facts About Cybersecurity for 2019

Did you know that Cyber-attacks are the fastest-growing crime in the U.S.?  As our society increases its use of technology, this figure will continue to increase in size, scope, and cost. 

Cyber terrorists, identity thieves, and computer hackers steal highly sensitive and classified data off of the web daily – and make front-page headlines in the process.

Today’s InfoSec professionals are trying to stay ahead of cybercriminals, though remain worried about AI-powered cyber attacks, sandbox evading malware, ransomware and more.

The growing demand for more effective information security products and protocols means now could be a great time to research an education and/or career in this exciting field.  Our team has put together some interesting data points that show how real this threat is.

Top Cybersecurity Facts

Hackers may work in the shadows, but they propose real threats to businesses and individuals alike. Here are some noteworthy statistics about InfoSec. You may be surprised at the extent to which data is under attack.

  1. 160,000 Facebook accounts are compromised per day
  2. 41 percent of companies have over 1,000 sensitive files open to everyone
  3. In 2018 there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds that affects 1 in 3 Americans each year
  4. In 2017, the FBI estimated that ransomware infected more than 100,000 computers a day around the world
  5. According to Microsoft, 20% of small to mid-sized businesses have been cybercrime targets.
  6. 53 percent of cyber-attacks resulted in damages of $500,000 or more 
  7. About 87 million Facebook users were affected by the Cambridge Analytica data scape in the U.S. alone
  8. 91 percent of security professionals are concerned that hackers will use AI to launch even more sophisticated cyber-attacks
  9. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cybercrime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, which is double the total for 2015 Experts liken this to an invisible bank robbery netting more money than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined
  10. Hundreds of thousands — and possibly millions — of people can now be hacked via cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), pacemakers, deep brain neurostimulators, insulin pumps, ear tubes, and more
  11. There are around 24,000 malicious mobile apps blocked every day
  12. Attacks involving crypto-jacking increased by 8,500 percent in 2017 so don’t click on unknown links

Cybersecurity Breach and User Data Theft Examples in The News

Innovation in computer and internet technology reshapes the ways we communicate and conduct business. However, this increasingly digitized world is hard to protect from computer hacking, cyber-espionage, malware, and other major security breaches. Here are some of the headline grabbers that have impacted millions of people across the world.

  1. Yahoo - Biggest data breach in history circa 2013-14 when 3 billion Yahoo users are hacked in a data theft
  2. Uber - In 2016, Uber reported that hackers stole the information of over 57 million riders and drivers
  3. Equifax - 147.9 million consumers had data (like SSN’s) stolen in Equifax breach
  4. DNC – Information still evolving on the 2016 cyber-intrusion by two Russian backed groups to the Democratic National Committee’s computer system.
  5. Under Armor – In 2018 Under Armor reported that its app,  “My Fitness Pal” was hacked, affecting 150 million users
  6. U.S. Power Companies - In 2017, security researchers detect that Russian hackers had infiltrated and probed U.S. power companies and that the perpetrators had direct access to an American utility's control systems
  7. Facebook – The Cambridge Analytica scandal rocks the world of social media in 2017 and it is found that about 87 million users on Facebook had their public profile data scraped by third-party apps
  8. Iranian Hackers - The U.S. Justice Department uncovers a major government-backed Iranian cyber-espionage ring. These hackers broke into the computer networks of 144 U.S. universities, stole 31 terabytes of intellectual property and caused f $3.4 billion worth of damages. They then attacked 36 private American companies and infiltrated five U.S. government agencies, stealing the emails associated with thousands of accounts
  9. Hudson’s Bay Company - HBC, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor Inc were massively hacked in April 2018. They report Hackers stole the data of more than 5 million credit and debit cards
  10. Ticketfly – In June 2018 the subsidiary of Eventbrite concert ticketing agency announces a data breach that impacted more than 26 million customer accounts. The stolen information included customer names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers
  11. U.S. Airforce – In 2018, an amateur hacker illegally accessed an Air Force captain’s computer by exploiting a known security flaw and stole classified information about MQ-9A Reaper drones and their operators. The hacker then tried to sell them on the dark web for just $150
  12. Vtech - Even children’s data is stolen when in 2018, a cyber-attack on electronic toymaker VTech Technologies exposed the personal data of 6.4 million children

cybercrime; cybercriminal statistics; cybersecurity in 2019

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What Degree Do You Need to be in Cybersecurity?

Most information cybersecurity analyst careers require at least a bachelors degree in computer science, information assurance, programming, or a related field like cybersecurity. Experience is seen as an asset too.

Those who want to climb the ladder usually need some type of business background to help them gain solid managerial decision skills, so think MBA with a major in information systems. Or, choose a holistic and more technical Master of Science in Cybersecurity or Information Security where you might choose a concentration to refine expertise in:

  • Cyber Intelligence
  • Computer Forensics
  • Cyber Operations
  • Electronic Crime & Fraud
  • Malware Analysis

Either way, to stay in demand and abreast of current trends and technologies, many cybersecurity pros might continue their education throughout their careers. This might be done through a degree and/or a professional certification in penetration testing, systems auditing or a credential like the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).