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Scary Security Stats: Roundup from 2021 Research

Scary Security Stats 

Each year, cybersecurity companies publish a number of research reports focusing on different aspects of cybersecurity and breach trends.  Below is a list of some of the most alarming statistics from several reports published throughout the year from various companies.


Kaspersky (Source: IT Security Economics Report)

  • The cost of data breaches for SMBs increased slightly ($105k in 2021, compared to $101k in 2020, but still does not achieve the 2018 high point ($120k). The cost of a data breach for enterprises fell to $927k, below the previous low of $992k in 2017.
  • Incidents involving shared data with suppliers was the costliest breach for enterprises, with a total impact of $1.4m in 2021. Enterprises were less likely to report data breaches this year, with 34% avoiding doing so, compared to 28% in 2020.
  • Cybersecurity budgets, planned in the midst of the pandemic at the end of 2020, decreased dramatically for enterprises, falling by 19% to $11.4m. That's compared to $14m in 2020. Meanwhile, SMB security budgets only decreased slightly, down to $267k in 2021, compared to $275k last year (a 3% decrease).
  • The number one cybersecurity concern for businesses in 2021 is the need for bigger budgets to secure increasingly complex environments (44%), that's up from third place last year (41%) and sixth place in 2018.

SolarWinds (Source: SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2021: Building a Secure Future)

  • According to the SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2021, 39% of overall tech pro respondents worldwide state that their organizations have had medium exposure to enterprise IT risk over the past 12 months. 46% of respondents cited external security threats-like cyberattacks-as the top macro trend influencing their organizations' risk exposure. Likewise, 35% of respondents said the accelerated shift to remote working was the number one aspect of current IT environments considered to increase an organization's risk exposure.
  • Although enterprise IT risk exists within their organizations, respondents are confident in their risk management and mitigation preparedness strategies. 81% of respondents "agree" or "strongly agree" that their IT organizations are prepared to manage, mitigate, and resolve risk factor-related issues due to the policies and/or procedures they already have in place.
  • When it comes to addressing risk, 80% of respondents "agreed" or "strongly agreed" technology is the best way for organizations to manage, mitigate, and resolve issues related to risk.
  • However, respondents said that lack of budget/resources (45%), lack of training for personnel (45%) and unclear or shifting priorities (38%) are among the top barriers to utilizing technology to mitigate/manage risk within an organization.
  • While tech pro respondents believe their organizations are prepared to mitigate and manage risk, 27% said their senior leaders have difficulty convincing other leaders of this reality, ultimately limiting resources to address risk.
  • In spite of all this, it's promising that 59% of tech pros are confident that IT organizations will continue to invest in risk management/mitigation technologies over the next 3 years.


  • 80% of organizations recognize that they have an availability gap between how fast they can recover applications versus how fast they need applications to be recovered. 76% of those same organizations said they have a gap between how frequently data is backed up versus how much data they can afford to lose. (Source: Veeam Data Protection Report 2021)
  • On average, 23% of servers had at least one expected outage in the last 12 months with 36% of organizations stating up to 50% of their servers had at least one outage. (Source: Veeam Data Protection Report 2021)
  • A whopping 37% of backups ended up with errors or could not complete in their allocated backup window. One-third (34%) of all restorations are also failing to restore within the expected SLA. Those are some scary figures, which mean more than half the time, organizations won't be able to restore their servers due to either failed backups or failed restores. (Source: Veeam Data Protection Report 2021)
  • The increased focus on modern and cloud-based services have a major impact on data protection trends for IT delivery practices. Inadequate backup or failure to meet SLAs topped the data protection challenges for 2021 at 40% (up from 31% in 2019), beating out all other metrics. (Source: Veeam Data Protection Report 2021)
  • The average cost of downtime is $85K US per hour. (Source: Veeam Data Protection Report 2021
  • Stolen data has a wider reach and moves more quickly in 2021-Breach data received over 13,200 views in 2021 vs. 1,100 views in 2015 -- a 1,100% increase. (Source: Bitglass 2021 Where's your Data Report) 
  • The Dark Web has become darker, as the number of anonymous viewers on the Dark Web in 2021 (93%) outnumber those in 2015 (67%). (Source: Bitglass 2021 Where's your Data Report) 
  • Cybercriminals may be more of a "homegrown" threat than many believe, with downloads of the stolen data originating from the United States as the second-most frequent location (top three were: Kenya, United States, and Romania). (Source: Bitglass 2021 Where's your Data Report) 
  • The count of healthcare breaches reached 599 in 2020, a 55.1% increase since 2019 (386) (Source: Bitglass 2021 Healthcare Breach Report)  
  • Hacking and IT incidents were the top breach causes in healthcare in 2020, leading to 67.3% of compromises (Source: Bitglass 2021 Healthcare Breach Report)  
  • While 22% of organizations confirm that unmanaged devices accessing corporate resources have downloaded malware in the last 12 months, an alarming 49% are unsure or unable to disclose whether the same could be said of them. (Source: Bitglass 2021 BYOD Security Report)  
  • The biggest remote work security concerns stem from data leaking through endpoints (68%), users connecting with unmanaged devices (59%), and access from outside the perimeter, meaning less anti-malware protection (56%). (Source: Bitglass 2021 Remote Workforce Report





  • 62% of IT leaders say data loss with one of their cloud solutions would have a moderate or major impact on their business because they have either no backup solution or a complex one. This can be avoided by investing in a robust backup, monitoring your environment for threat and having a written and tested recovery plan. (Source: State of IT at Modern Workplaces
  • Maintaining compliance feels scary with a remote workplace. When reporting their biggest challenges in maintaining compliance virtually, IT leaders named "finding a solution that is automated and easy to use (37%)", and "employees using their own virtual tools with a lack of governance (36%)" as their top compliance concerns. (Source: State of IT at Modern Workplaces
  • 25% of IT leaders that said email encryption and data loss prevention solutions are most important to overall workplace security also reported that they're not satisfied with the solution they have deployed. (Source: State of IT at Modern Workplaces
  • Overall email threats are on an upward trend throughout the first half of 2021. We quarantined over 2.9 billion email threats throughout the first half of 2021, which was a 13.5% increase over the trailing 6-month period. (Source: 2021 Mid-Year Global Threat Report)


Published Wednesday, October 27, 2021 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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