Prime Factors Blog

6 Statistics that will Help Make the Case for Encryption and Data Security to the C-Suite

Posted by Gwen Fremonti on Apr 11, 2017 3:33:34 PM


If you’re not taking an active role in encrypting and securing your company’s most sensitive data, you might as well be leaving the key to your corporate safe unlocked. In today’s digital world, our increasing reliance on technologies like corporate cloud computing and file storage systems, online banking, and virtual email servers are leaving many businesses significantly more vulnerable to cybercrime.

Despite the threat, not all executives understand just how dangerous cybercrime can be to their company’s bottom line; and whether you’re an IT manager or an outside consultant, you may need to convince them of the need to take data security precautions seriously. This shouldn’t be too difficult, considering that the average data breach costs an incredible $4 million. However, if that statistic doesn’t do the trick, here are five more that might:

To learn how encryption can lower the cost of regulatory compliance while enhancing security, download our white paper Reducing the Cost of Regulatory Compliance with Encryption 

1. Half of employees take confidential corporate data with them after leaving a company

While your nightmares may be filled with hackers from Russia drinking energy drinks and wearing hoodies, a serious breach may be more likely to come from Jim in Accounting; research indicates that many, if not most employees have few qualms about brazenly stealing data from their employers, especially if they were fired from the company. Of the half that reported stealing data, 40% planned to use it in their new jobs.

2. The two most expensive viruses in history both caused nearly $40 billion in damage

MyDoom (which is actually thought to originate from Russia) is considered to be the most expensive computer virus of all time, with a reported $38.5 billion of financial damage inflicted on victims around the globe. In 2004, when the virus was at its peak, it was estimated that one quarter of all emails worldwide were infected with the virus. In comparison, SoBIg, the second-largest virus today (which debuted in 2003), was estimated to have caused $37.1 billion in damages. 

In recent years, viruses have been smaller in size, on average – but that doesn’t make them any less harmful to companies. For example, starting in 2013, a ransomware Trojan called CryptoLocker began taking the data on individual computers hostage and threatening to permanently lock out victims unless they paid a ransom. The criminal or criminals who initiated CryptoLocker are believed to have profited at least $3 million off the scheme.

3. Over 7 billion data records have been lost or stolen since 2013

Currently, records are being stolen at a rate of more than 1 billion per year – and data suggests that the rate of data theft will only keeping climbing over the next few years. Nearly every major corporate player has been affected by some form of data breach; from Home Depot and JPMorgan Chase in 2014 to the famous 2015 Sony data breach, later theorized (but not proven) to be the work of a specialized North Korean government hacking unit.

4. In 7.1% of data breaches, an attacker was able compromise a system and exfiltrate data in under 1 minute

In addition to the stunning amount of attacks that are successful in under 1 minute, attackers were able to exfiltrate data in under one hour in 21.2% of breaches. These statistics show that when it comes to data security, time is never on our side. This means that solutions need to help prevent and deflect threats as quickly as possible – or simply make the data unusable – in order to effectively secure sensitive information.

5. In 7% of data breaches, the breach isn’t discovered for a year or more

Not all data breaches are discovered right away. And many of the most skilled criminals try to never leave a trace when they infiltrate a computer system. This significant gap between the time of data exfiltration and time of discovery is just one of the reasons why data breaches can be so destructive.

Fortunately, there have never been so many effective tools to help combat data breaches and other cybercrimes

With more than 1 billion new data breaches a year, cyberattacks have never been a bigger threat to businesses than they are today. But it’s not all doom and gloom; understanding the threat that your firm faces from cybercrime allows you to fully understand the problem and address it by taking an active role in your company’s cybersecurity strategy.

No matter what type of company you’re trying to secure, there’s never been so many effective, efficient, and economical tools to help protect your data from a variety of potential threats. And foremost among those tools is encryption which, when implemented properly, makes data unusable to those who seek to steal it.

To learn more about how encryption can help your business deflect and prevent digital threats, contact Prime Factors today at 888-963-6358 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.


To learn how encryption can lower the cost of regulatory compliance while enhancing security, download our white paper Reducing the Cost of Regulatory Compliance with Encryption.  

Topics: encryption, PCI Data Encryption, encryption keys