A lot can happen in 5 years, and unfortunately, not always for the better. According to a recent report by Juniper Research, Cybercrime & the Internet of Threats 2018, data breaches are expected to reach 146 billion records over the next five years.

For cybercriminals to successfully compromise such an extreme number of records, significant annual growth in breached records is expected to occur (22.5% growth). According to the Juniper report, 2018 is expected to see 12 billion records compromised, while 2023 is expected to see more than 33 billion records stolen by cybercriminals.

Who will be the biggest target?

Small businesses are likely to be the biggest target for attackers, according to the report. With SMBs making up 99% of all companies, cybercriminals will have plenty of options when it comes to choosing their target. Despite SMBs making up the majority, businesses of all sizes will be targeted and affected by this drastic increase in breached records.

How much will data breaches cost?

It is no secret that data breaches are expensive. Over the 5-year period studied, Juniper found that criminal data breaches will cost nearly $2.5 trillion dollars. As costs associated with data breaches continue to rise, small companies with inadequate resources and weak security practices are put at tremendous risk of collapsing if they suffer a data breach.

How will businesses protect themselves?

Juniper reported that many companies are spending under $500 per year on cybersecurity, making use of consumer-grade products in hopes that those products alone will be enough to protect them.

Small businesses are expected to make up only 13% of overall spending on cybersecurity in 2018, an alarming statistic considering SMBs make up most of the market. This low percentage could be attributed to the reliance on consumer-grade products but also points to a larger problem that SMBs are ignoring the risks associated with not properly protecting their business.

It’s not too late to improve your security measures

If cybercriminals are going to be successful in breaching 146 billion records by 2023, they’ve got some serious work to do. Attackers must have businesses with weak security measures to exploit by first gaining access to their system.

Security awareness training is a crucial component to a healthy security posture and will go a long way in protecting your business. Employees should understand the various ways cybercriminals could enter their system or accounts and be trained in how to spot malicious attempts made by such criminals. Training will also help educate employees on best practices such as appropriate password requirements.

Prevent attackers from exploiting your business and making you another statistic by improving your security practices before it’s too late.

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