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U.S. companies and cyber crime - statistics & facts

In today’s digitalized business world, more and more companies are taking advantage of the ever-evolving opportunities of cyberspace. Whether it be to automate internal processes, adopt cloud services, or communicate with other businesses and clients, organizations are constantly embracing new digital technologies. But while the internet has become an indispensable tool for companies and industries around the world, the online landscape has also developed into an attractive hunting ground for criminals: In 2019, the number of cybercrime incidents exceeded 31,000 cases worldwide, and the global number of data breaches with confirmed data loss rose to almost 4,000 that year. This rise in online attacks is particularly visible in the United States, where many companies, individual users, and even the government has fallen victim to cyber intrusions.

What are the most common forms of cybercrime in the United States?

Thanks to ever-evolving technology features and the rapid uptick in online usage across industries, today’s cybercrime landscape is more diverse than ever. In 2019, the most common cyber attacks experienced by companies in the United States were phishing attacks. IT security experts estimate that around 65 percent of U.S. organizations fell victim to successful phishing activities via email, social media, or phone that year.

Data breaches in the United States

Over the last two decades, the number of data breaches in the United States has increased almost tenfold, as the reliance on digital data has grown among most corporations. In 2019, around 1,506 breaches were reported, marking the second-highest incident rate so far. As of 2020, the biggest online data breach worldwide remains the 2018 security breach of sales intelligence company Apollo, which saw more than nine billion data points compromised. But apart from lost data records, businesses also face legal consequences and financial damage in the wake of a cyber attack. In 2019, for example, the Atlanta-based credit agency Equifax agreed to pay a settlement of 575 million U.S. dollars following a data breach. Today, the average cost per data breach in the United States amounts to almost nine million U.S. dollars.

Cybersecurity measures among U.S. companies

There are several policies and processes that companies can implement to prevent cyber attacks and ensure digital safety. In North America, usernames and passwords remain the most commonly employed authentication methods among small businesses. But while this form of authentication serves as a first entry barrier for unauthorized parties, it does not sufficiently protect businesses from intrusions. According to a recent survey, more than 60 percent of organizations in the United States currently employ two-factor authentication to verify user identities, while the switch to passwordless approaches and artificial intelligence (AI) for cybersecurity is also visibly accelerating. Seeing that many U.S. companies had to implement remote working systems amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, they will need to close protection gaps and focus on cybersecurity now more than ever.

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U.S. companies and cyber crime

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Attacks in the United States

Damages and consequences

Cyber security and insurance

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