Future Cybersecurity Attacks Predicted to Cost 10x More Than Natural Disasters

Written by Nick Heudecker

February 13, 2023

Enterprises are entering 2023 following an increase in large-scale cybersecurity attacks over the last several years — Colonial Pipeline, Solarwinds, and even Twitter have all been victims — but events like these are not just increasing in number and sophistication. The amount of money involved is enough to make your head spin.

If you consider the trends towards the centralization of infrastructure and the scale of the handful of businesses supporting that shift, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that the global cost of cyberattacks in the next decade could end up being an order of magnitude higher than the cost of all-natural disasters combined, which was $270 billion worldwide in 2021. Merchant Machine estimates that a global internet outage would cost the global economy $37 billion a day in revenue losses alone.

Every Enterprise Needs to Be Vigilant, Especially the Big Guys

Multiple businesses run on top of platforms like AWS, GCP, or even IBM Cloud — just think of the number of transactions processed in public cloud environments like Google, Apple, and Amazon on any given day. The potential for loss here is huge. Amazon.com had an outage in 2021 that cost the company $34 million per hour in lost sales — and that’s not to mention the occasional misconfigured S3 bucket that can cause massive interruptions across AWS and take several other businesses down with it,

There are also vast amounts of physical goods that get shipped through ports like the one in Shanghai, where they exported $234 billion worth of goods and imported another $384 billion in 2021. A shutdown of even an hour can have a tragic impact downstream in the supply chain, and in some cases it could even take weeks or months to restart operations and verify systems after an attack has occurred.

It’s Not All Doom and Gloom: Take These Steps to Be Prepared

Since we know these massive cybersecurity attacks are increasingly likely to occur, now is the time to start thinking about disaster preparedness. Review plans with IT and Security, think about what it’s going to look like to fail over to backup systems, and test the readiness of those systems. The last thing you want is to flip that switch and have nothing happen!

Also, understand where your single points of failure are — is it in a network, your hardware, or maybe your software? Check with vendors about potential software supply chain issues, and also look at your cybersecurity risk insurance to be sure your policies cover what you think they cover. There was a case recently in Ohio where an insured party insisted that cyber was part of it, but the Ohio Supreme Court ruled against them. Nothing will ruin your day quite like losing thousands or millions of dollars because of some fine print in your insurance policy.

This exorbitant cost associated with cyber attacks is just one of the potential storms brewing in the observability and security forecast for 2023.

Read the rest of our predictions in this white paper to help adapt your business and be ready for whatever comes your way.



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