Hacking and cyber security is a funny thing. While the statistics prove that we’re all extremely susceptible to being on the losing edge of a cyber-attack, many (myself included) believe it can’t possibly happen to us.

We tell ourselves lies. “Cyberattacks only happen to the successful. Cyberattacks only happen to the gullible. Cyberattacks only happen to big companies.”

Only, only, only.

And, let’s be honest, we’ve all had this thought flash as we did something woefully unsafe (like the time I checked my bank account using the public WIFI at Starbucks): why would someone spend time hacking me?

Sorry to burst our respective bubbles, but those lines of thinking are wrong. And not only wrong – downright dangerous.

In fact, there’s an industry term for this: cyber denial syndrome. Markus Jakobsson, a security researcher, CTO, and founder of ZapFraud said in a recent article “the connection between cause and effect [online] is very vague to most people. What is safe to do? What is unsafe?”

It seems that part of the success in fending off the bad guys is education. So here’s my favorite stats:

  • There have been more than 750,000 ransomware attacks this year.
  • More than 80% of US companies have been breached.
  • Yahoo lost 500 million user credentials, Dropbox lost 68 million credentials, and Mail.ru lost 25 million credentials
  • Over 85% of small firms with targeted attacks reported successful hacks as they are more vulnerable because they don't have the resources to protect their networks.
  • The average cost of a hack to law firms is now over $7 million, or $221 per compromised record, said Preet Bharara, US attorney for Manhattan, to the NY Times on Tuesday about law firm vulnerabilities.

Like 2016, 2017 is going to be a difficult year for cybersecurity. Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4, said in a recent article that the next year will see “epidemics equaling the ransomware plague we are suffering now.”

“Train your high-risk users within an inch of their lives,” he warns.

If you need me, I’ll be connecting all my devices to the private cloud. And hiding under my desk.

Written By: Veasna Onn, Sr. Business Development Manager, Abacus. To reach him, please use vonn@abacusnext.com