The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital transformation and changed the way business operate. Now, 43% of the workforce is remote at least some of the time, and a global market for cloud computing reached a record $266.4 billion. The departing year saw an increase in criminal activity online despite the fact that share of IT budgets dedicated to cybersecurity grew by up to 29%. 

The ongoing change in remote working and business network security is apparent in 20 of the most intriguing industry statistics of the past year.

1. Global losses from cybercrime now total more than $1 trillion.

2. The average total cost of a data breach is $3.86 million.

3. When it comes to security breaches, 86% of them were financially motivated.

4. Negligent employees/contractors caused 63% of the incidents.

5. The health care industry is most affected by cyberthreats, with damage estimated up to $7.13 million.

6. Because of the pandemic, half of consumers are more willing to part with their personal data if it was used for research effort or community wellness.

7. Data breaches cost the most in the U.S., amounting to $8.64 million.

8. It takes, on average, 280 days to identify and contain a breach.

9. A staggering 99% of vulnerabilities exploited by the end of 2020 will be the ones known by security and IT professionals at the time of the incident. 

10. Nearly half of organizations (45%) have adopted a new technology or contracted with a new vendor to enable remote work due to COVID-19.

11. If a small or medium-sized business discovers a breach instantly, as many as 417 records are compromised, and it costs, on average, $28,000. If it goes undetected for more than a week, up to 70,000 records are compromised, and the average cost rises to $105,000.

12. The rate of discovered cyberthreats in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 was 419 per minute — an increase of almost 12% in comparison to the previous quarter. 

13. The average ransom payment in Q2 2020 was $178,254 — an increase of 60% in comparison to the previous quarter. 

14. In a single “highly sophisticated” attack, hackers managed to access and steal the email addresses and personal travel plans of about 9 million EasyJet customers.

15. If a company fell victim to a cybercrime, 44% of customers said they would stop buying from them.

16. Cybersecurity is among the main spending trends for 70% of enterprises  when it comes to their IT budgets — preceded only by analytics (75%).

17. In 2020, businesses spent an average of $2,700 on cybersecurity per full-time employee, compared to $2,300 in 2019. 

18. More than half (55%) of business and tech/security executives lack confidence that cyber spending is aligned to the most significant risks. 

19. When it comes to staffing, 64% of cybersecurity professionals report shortages at their own organizations.

20. An entry-level cybersecurity agent in the U.S. can expect to earn $73,340 a year on average. 

“This year has transformed how people work, rest, shop, travel, and communicate,” said Juta Gurinaviciute, the CTO at NordVPN Teams. “With an ever-increasing online presence and threat perimeter, cybersecurity will continue to be crucial in 2021 — adapting to what many have labelled as the ‘new normal.’”