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 Cybersecurity Statistics for 2021 


By the end of 2021, cybercrime is expected to cost the world $6 trillion. By 2025, this figure will climb to $10.5 trillion.

The global information security market is forecasted to grow to $170.4 billion in 2022 to cope with the rising cybercrime projection. 

61% of cybersecurity professionals believe that their cybersecurity team is understaffed. Moreover, the cybersecurity skills gap will remain a huge challenge, creating 3.5 million unfilled jobs in 2021.

Packetlabs has compiled a list of cybersecurity statistics for 2021 that may support your internal or external stakeholder presentations or meetings. These current stats may help highlight value in strengthening your company’s cybersecurity posture. Additionally, it may expand your own knowledge of where your company sits in the cybersecurity landscape. 

Cybersecurity Statistics about COVID-19

COVID-19 has shined an uncomfortably bright light on the state of cybersecurity around the world. As early as March 2020, Deloitte found that the pandemic led to:

  • Increased security risk from remote working

  • Delayed cyber-attack detection and response

  • Gaps in physical and information security

  • An influx of cybercriminals

Here are a few more COVID-related cybersecurity statistics to compare with your own organization’s post-COVID security posture.

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes in the USA.

As early as April 2020, 52% of legal and compliance leaders were already worried about third-party cybersecurity risk following the pandemic. At least 20% of managers said they faced a security breach due to a remote worker. Remote work has increased the average total cost of a data breach by almost $137,000.

Google saw 18 million COVID-related daily malware and phishing emails and 240 million daily spam messages.

In Canada:

  • 3 in 10 Canadian organizations observed a spike in cybercrime during the pandemic

  • Since March 2020, nearly 25% of small businesses were targeted by cyberattacks

  • In 2020, cyber-related frauds led to $101 million in reported losses, compared to $83.8 million in 2019

  • Over 80% of businesses were hit by phishing scams and 50% by malware

Cybersecurity Statistics about Data Breaches

In 2020, 43% of C-Suite business leaders who reported a data breach cited human error as the second major cause, and the average cost of such data breaches was $3.33 million. The first major cause of a data breach was the deliberate theft or sabotage by external vendors. No matter the source, it took an average of 239 days to identify and contain such breaches.

In Canada, 25% of organizations experienced a breach of customer and/or employee data. And yet, only 36% reported cybercrime, down from 58% in 2019. The average total cost of a data breach was US$4.5 million, a 6.7% increase over 2019. Over 90% of breaches were financially motivated; organized crime groups were responsible for 80% of them. 

In the first three quarters of the year, 36 billion company records were exposed.

In 2021:

  • 85% of breaches involved a human element

  • 61% were due to stolen or compromised user credentials

  • Social engineering was observed in over 35% of incidents

Cybersecurity Statistics About Phishing

Phishing scams are becoming increasingly common because they leverage an asset that billions of people use daily: email. Phishers take advantage of the lack of cybersecurity awareness to get victims to click on malicious links or open malicious attachments.

The general lack of awareness is why phishing scams have remained among the top action varieties since 2019.

In 2020, 22% of data breaches involved phishing. In 2021, this cybersecurity statistic climbed up to 36%.

Between 2019 and 2020, the number of organizations that experienced a successful phishing scam increased from 55% to 57%.

In Q4 2020, 74% of scams used HTTPS sites to perpetrate phishing scams.

Cybersecurity Statistics about Malware and Ransomware

Malware, especially ransomware, is an increasingly serious problem for organizations. In the first three quarters of 2020, ransomware was involved in 21% of reported breaches, contributing to the exposure of 11.2% unknown data types and 10.4% known data types. In 2021, the ransomware industry is worth $14 billion.

The increasing frequency and impact of ransomware attacks are not the only critical cybersecurity statistic. Another huge problem is the increasing frequency with which victims are paying the ransom. In 2020, the total ransom amount paid increased by 311% over 2019 to reach nearly $350 million. Further, the number of ransom-paying organizations increased from 26% in 2020 to 32% in 2021, but only 8% got all their data back.

Yet another ransomware-related issue is the increasing cost of downtime. Between 2018 and 2020, the average cost of ransomware-caused downtime (per incident) has increased from $46,800 to $283,000 (7 times).

In 2021 and beyond, a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds, and ransomware damage costs will rise to $20 billion – 57 times more than in 2015.

Did you find this list useful? Would you like us to compile another list of useful cybersecurity statistics? Email and let us know