My name is Lee Ann Collins, managing partner of Lane Gorman Trubitt, (LGT), a public accounting firm in Dallas, and this job is keeping me up at night.
I recently renewed our cyber insurance. The process has brought up concerns about how to keep up with a continually-evolving interconnected world and the sneakier and sneakier potential attacks on our systems. This has led to its own classification of nightmares, the latest of which involved a worm crawling out of all the company computers like it was Agent Smith from The Matrix. The worm in my dream was made of 1s and 0s and was insidiously wrapping itself around everything from client data to our marketing team’s favorite memes, keeping us from working, fixing it, or posting information for our clients.
Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are not so obvious. They can often happen very quietly in the background, and you won’t know it is a problem until your information is breached and available to the public. Also, too many companies do not understand how important it is to be vigilant until it is too late. Here are a few statistics, compiled by Varonis, about cyber-attacks and its effect on business, individuals, and our nation.
- In 2017, 147.9 million consumers were affected by the Equifax Breach. The total population of the United States is currently 329.09 million adult consumers.
- In 2017, cybercrime costs accelerated with organizations spending nearly 23 percent more than 2016—on average about $11.7 million.
- The financial services industry will spend, on average, $18.3 million to resolve a cybercrime.
- The loss of data represents 43% of total costs.
- Attacks on the healthcare industry are expected to quadruple by 2020
- Ransomware attacks are growing more than 350% every year
- Ransomware damage costs will rise to $11.5 billion in 2019, and a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds.
- The United States and the Middle East spend the most on post-data breach response. Costs in the U.S. were $1.56 million and $1.43 million in the Middle East.
- 21% of all files are NOT protected in any way.
All of these are terrifying, and they don’t just affect large corporations. According to Smallbiztrends.com:
- 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses
- 60% of companies will go out of business following a cyber-attack
- Most cyber-attacks are the result of a negligent employee or contractor
Needless to say, if you are doing business like we are, you are at risk for a cyber-attack. Your preparedness plan should include a focus on required, recurrent training for your employees and be backed by comprehensive cyber insurance policy.
We want to asist you in protecting the company that you have helped build. You can subscribe to our newsletter here: https://blog.lgt-cpa.com to read more about cybersecurity and your business.