The number of online data breaches as well as other forms of cybercriminal activity has steadily increased over the past several years. In the months of April, May, and June of 2018, 765 million people worldwide were impacted either directly or indirectly by a data breach. With cyber-attacks occurring once every thirty-nine seconds, the number of people who are impacted by data breaches is expected to increase with each passing year. This is because more businesses are conducting themselves online and poorly secured internet-capable devices are used to connect to computer networks as well as the internet. In addition, cybercriminals have developed more advanced tools for penetrating supposedly secure computer networks. With these tools, cybercriminals are also able to remain undetected for longer periods of time after compromising a computer network.
There has been an exponential increase in the rate of cybercrime over the past several years as enterprises increasingly conduct more of their business activities online. Cybercriminals have developed more sophisticated tools that offer them greater ability to penetrate and compromise the networks of unsuspecting enterprises, with resulting adverse consequences. There are about 130 reported network security breaches yearly. In 2018 alone, the estimated amount of money lost by businesses globally as a result of cybercrime was $600 billion, corresponding to about 0.8 percent of the global GDP.
As people increasingly use the internet for transactions and other daily activities, businesses must take extra measures to ensure the security of the data being exchanged online. Hackers and other malicious actors devote a considerable amount of time as well as resources seeking ways to compromise computer networks in order to access personal data and proprietary information belonging to businesses. This data, once accessed, is used for various sorts of illegal and nefarious activities. In the first half of 2018, there were roughly 4.5 billion data records compromised by malicious attacks.