STUDY: 40 Percent of US businesses have experienced a cyber breach during the COVID-19 pandemic

12 Oct, 2021
SecureAge Technology
New study by SecureAge reveals key trends in US cybersecurity during the pandemic including a high-level of successful data breaches, concerns over defense quality and overall preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic

SecureAge Technology, a leading global data and endpoint protection company, today announced the release of its 2021 COVID & Cybersecurity Study. Polling 400 employers and 600 employees from around the US business world during Q3 2021, the study examined key cybersecurity topics and trends that have dominated business operations and remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most fundamentally challenging periods ever for businesses and their workers alike,” said Jerry Ray, COO, SecureAge Technology. “Unfortunately, these day-to-day challenges have been compounded by a new wave of cybersecurity threats which have resulted in a host of additional threats to businesses and employees. This year’s study uncovered several alarming trends on everything from breach success to training failures and also pointed to the steps that businesses and employees are taking to build more secure workplaces.”

Below is an overview of the study’s key findings:

40% of Businesses Experienced a Cyber Breach During COVID 

According to the findings, almost 40% of employers have admitted to experiencing a cyber breach within the COVID-19 pandemic -- with another 7% saying that they “were not sure.” In addition, 17% of employees have said that they themselves have dealt with a cybersecurity incident that personally affected them in the past.

“To see just how many businesses have been breached by bad actors during the pandemic is truly jaw dropping, and to see how many employers are ‘unsure’ about whether they have been breached just underscores how disorganized and fragmented the cybersecurity landscape is today,” said Ray. “Clearly more needs to be done to help both fortify defenses themselves, and also help businesses communicate internally with their teams about breach incidents.”

34% Fully Confident in Their Current Cyber defenses 

Per the study, only a third of both employers (34%) and employees (35%) said that they are “very confident” that their cybersecurity infrastructure would protect them from a cyberattack.

“With so many high-profile breaches over the last 12 months, employees and businesses are beginning to question how secure their sensitive data and privacy really is,” said Ray.  “And there is clearly a lot of work that needs to be done to bolster not just cybersecurity infrastructures but the confidence that employees and employers have in the cyber tools at their exposure.”


Majority of Businesses Plan to Boost Cybersecurity Spend 

According to the findings, more than two-thirds of employers (67%) are set to boost their investments on cybersecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic -- with another 15% saying they are unsure. Of those that stated they planned to increase their cybersecurity budget, 44% said that they planned to increase their budget by up to 25%, while another 23% of employer respondents said they plan to increase their cyber budgets by up to 50%. 

“Despite the current shortcomings in training and overall cybersecurity confidence, it does seem that a majority of businesses are looking to bolster their cybersecurity capabilities by way of greater investment,” said Ray. “Cybersecurity is only getting more and more complex, so equipping security teams with the resources they need only makes sense as they work to stay one step ahead of bad actors.”

Employers Invest Heavily in Training but Not Seeing Results 

Per the study’s findings, 45% of employers in the US spend between $10,000 and $100,000 on cybersecurity training for their teams, with 25% saying they invest more than $100,000. Yet, many businesses continue to be impacted by breaches.

“Employers are clearly investing heavily in the cybersecurity training as a primary way to better bolster their cyber defenses, unfortunately, breaches -- and far too many -- continue to occur,” said Ray. “With this, employers need to perhaps begin looking at new mental models and tools to give them the security that they are currently lacking.”

For more information on the 2021 COVID & Cybersecurity Study please click here. For more information on SecureAge please visit: www.secureage.com.
About SecureAge Technology
SecureAge Technology is a rapidly growing data security company that places security and usability on equal footing. Headquartered in Singapore, we are trusted by governments, research institutes, and forward-thinking organizations to protect them from the most advanced and persistent cyber threats in the world. What makes SecureAge different, is we have built a reputation for data-centric and intuitive security solutions that protect data not only when it is stored, but also when it is in use, and in transit. We’ve achieved this by holding strong reign on our belief that users shouldn’t have to become cybersecurity experts to escape data liabilities. Instead, encryption should be inherent, invisible, and instinctive. To protect data when it is most vulnerable, security must take place at the file-level, operate silently in the background, and support the way in which people collaborate. That’s why our users can divert their resources to focus on other challenges – SecureAge users enjoy 100% file-level security, every file, every place, and every time. For more information visit www.secureage.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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