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Cybersecurity and COVID-19

The RSAC 365 Virtual Summit took place today, featuring presentations on the latest in cybersecurity. It’s a topic that all business owners and c-level executives need to be more concerned about than ever. The event included a number of sessions from leaders in the field, with many reflecting on the impact the global pandemic had on cybersecurity.

In the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, the FBI noted a 300 percent increase in reported cybercrimes. Banks or healthcare organizations were targeted in 27 percent of COVID-19 cyberattacks. The pandemic is credited for a 238 percent increase in cyberattacks on banks in 2020, according to Fintech News.

Remote work contributing to rise

Part of the rise has been tied to remote work. According to Malwarebytes, since the beginning of the pandemic, remote workers have caused a security breach in 20 percent of organizations. Cybint found that 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error.

According to Verizon, personal data was involved in 58 percent of breaches last year. Healthcare makes up for 15 percent of data breaches, while 10 percent occurred within the financial industry. However, according to Varonis, financial services have 352,771 exposed sensitive files on average while healthcare, pharma and biotech have 113,491 files on average.

In Varonis’ Data Risk Report on financial services, on average, a financial services employee has access to nearly 11 million files, although at large organizations it may be closer to 20 million. In the first half of 2020, data breaches exposed 36 billion records, the report said.

The cost of a breach

Beyond the damage a data breach can cause to your customers and your company’s reputation, it’s costly.  The average cost per lost or stolen record is $146 per individual, according to IBM. The company found that working remotely has increased the average cost of a data breach by $137,000.

The United States experiences the highest data breach costs in the world, at $8.64 million on average, and the average cost of a data breach for a business in 2020 was $3.86 million. According to Varonis, the average cost of a financial services data breach is higher, coming in at $5.85 million.

When it comes to cybercrime in general, the financial services industry comes in with the highest cost at an average of $18.3 million per company, according to a survey by Accenture.  On a positive note, Varonis also reported that businesses in this sector take an average of 233 days to detect and contain a data breach, which is faster than the overall average breach lifestyle at 280 days.

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