In  2017, we saw a lot of high profile hacks, such as the famous Equifax breach, as well as those at Google, Uber, Verizon and many more. These business disruptions are costing a lot of money and damage to a company’s reputation. What can we expect in 2018?

Cybersecurity is more than just an anti-virus software program most of the people use – or should use. With rising cybercrime activities, more companies and consumers are investing in cybersecurity. According to Gartner, worldwide security spending will reach $96 billion in 2018. This includes security prevention, such as identity theft protection, infrastructure protection, anti-viruses, data and network protection. Or, if compromised, data recovery, malware and virus removal and restoring data. With the enormous growth of cybercrime and the number of businesses and individuals that have been hacked being over the past year, this does not come as a surprise.

Cybercrime On The Rise

In 2017, many big companies were hacked and this trend will also continue in 2018. Because of fears of damage to their reputation, and huge profit loss, many companies are not eager to share this experience. But cyberattacks are not a problem only corporations are facing. State sponsored cybercrime and organized crime gang hacking activities are also focusing on other governments, hospitals, infrastructure and individual consumers. For instance, WannaCry and later Petya/NotPetya ransomware targeted thousands of corporations, hospitals and individuals. The FBI predicts that the number of cyberattacks will continue to grow. Ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated, with total payments approaching $1 billion annually.

Increasing Cybersecurity spending

Cybersecurity is becoming a very profitable field. Since 2004, the market grew approximately 35 times, driven by cybercrime, which eventually led to higher cyber spending. In the coming years, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 trillion from 2017 – 2021. Also government spending on cybersecurity is steadily increasing. In the proposed budget for 2018, there is $1.5 billion dedicated for cybersecurity to “protect federal networks and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks”.

Overall, cybercrime, and consequently cybersecurity spending, will continue to rise in 2018. What else can we expect? Stolen data, ransomware attacks, theft of personal and financial data or intellectual property, and reputation damage are at risk. All of these threats will become a new reality for many companies, governments and individuals in the following year and years to follow. Aside from  the obvious response – enhance the protection – what can we do to prevent these cyberattacks? We can better educate ourselves and our employees and enhance the overall awareness about possible cyberattacks and how to prevent them.