We’re under attack, but it’s a war without a visible enemy. If visible, we’d marshal our forces and protect our flanks. But in today’s world, the enemy is hidden, is vicious and unscrupulous. And we are blithely going about our business, under threat but seemingly unaware of its magnitude.

Each day, new threats emerge. And each day, a business somewhere in the world is under attack from malware and malicious insider cyberattacks. You might not be aware of this, but in 2018 these attacks grew by 12% compared to those in 2017. 

Whether the attack is in the form of a virus or worm, spyware or ransomware, Trojans or botnets, malware and all its forms can devastate your business: it costs companies on average US$2.6 million, followed by web-based attacks at US$2.3 million. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are hit particularly hard. In 2017, cyberattacks cost SMBs an average of $2,235,000—58% of these were small businesses.

Let’s take a look at malware’s escalating growth and the cost in damages to your business. The Melissa virus in 1999 caused $1.1 billion in damages by posing as a Word file. The SQL Slammer worm in 2003 exploited vulnerability in Microsoft’s SQL Server and Desktop Engine database products causing between $950 million and $1.2 billion in damages. Mydoom in 2004 caused $38.5 billion in damages. 

From Stuxnet in 2010 to CryptoLocker and Yahoo in 2013, from Sony Pictures Hack and eBay in 2014 to Miral in 2016, right through to one of the most infamous malware attacks in history: WannaCry in 2017. And the list goes on to the present day with costs rising and the damage increasing.

Take one of the more recent attacks and the damage it caused. In November 2018 half a billion Android users downloaded malware-infected Android apps from Google Play Store. Google’s response was to pull 13 Android apps that included car and truck driving simulations. When the games were downloaded and launched they would crash, even so they still managed to install malware on the user’s phone or tablet.

Without a cybersecurity solution and incident response plan in place, your business is extremely vulnerable to the high cost of a malware and malicious insider attack: attacks such as these now make up one-third of a company’s cybersecurity costs. The situation is critical—malware now costs US companies on average $2.6 million each year, while malicious insider attacks cost $1.6 million each year. 

Although these figures are frightening, it’s getting increasingly dire. Companies surveyed in a recent study, recorded an average of 145 cyberattacks, infiltrating the company’s core networks or enterprise systems—67% higher than five years ago and an 11% increase over 2017. And the number of organizations attacked by ransomware increased by 15%, on average the costs increased 21% to approximately US$650,000 for each company. 

To survive and profit in this climate, it’s obviously essential to protect your systems, networks and devices with a cybersecurity solution. Otherwise, your business will be struggling to recover from the overwhelming disruption caused by a massive malware attack and its associated crippling costs—it’s really only a matter of time.

Defend your business. Do not become a malware attack victim. Fight back: don’t let the hackers win.