Studies Indicate Data Breaches Remain A Significant Risk, Some Employees Seem Overconfident

Feb. 20, 2020

Two studies security companies Bullguard and Egress recently published have indicated sobering statistics regarding the risk of data breaches at companies. Bullguard's study surveyed small businesses, in the U.S. and the U.K., while the Egress study surveyed about 500 IT leaders and 5,000 employees in the U.S., the U.K. and the Benelux region.

Statistics from the reports include:

  • Nearly 60% of small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners believe their business is unlikely to be targeted by cyber criminals, however the results revealed that 18.5% of SMB owners have suffered from a cyber attack or data breach within the past year.
  • 43% of small to medium size business owners have no cybersecurity defense plan in place at all.
  • 41% of IT leaders say financial damage would be the area of greatest impact after an insider data breach.
  • 41% of employees who had accidentally leaked data said they had done so because of a phishing email.
  • 31% said they caused a breach by sending information to the wrong person, for example, by email.

"Small businesses are not immune to cyber attacks and data breaches and are often targeted specifically because they often fail to prioritize security," said Paul Lipman, CEO of BullGuard in the company's press release. "Caught between inadequate consumer solutions and overly complex enterprise software, many small business owners may be inclined to skip cybersecurity. It only takes one attack, however, to bring a business to its knees."


The top three crime types reported by victims in 2019 were phishing/vishing/smishing/pharming, non-payment/non-delivery, and extortion, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

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