Cyber attack surface facts, figures and statistics for 2017 to 2022

We're seeing a massive expansion of internet-connected people, places and things — and securing all of them is a problem.

Cyber attack surface grows immensely, raises security concerns
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The rate of internet connection is outpacing our ability to properly secure it.

Like street crime, which historically grew in relation to population growth, we are witnessing a similar evolution of cyber crime. It’s not just about more sophisticated weaponry; it’s as much about the growing number of human and digital targets.

Cyberspace numbers

The Official 2017 Annual Cybercrime Report published by Cybersecurity Ventures reports the following growth figures:

  • The World Wide Web was invented in 1989. The first-ever website went live in 1991. Today, there are more than 1.2 billion websites.
  • There are 3.8 billion internet users in 2017 (51 percent of the world’s population of 7 billion), up from 2 billion in 2015.
  • Cybersecurity Ventures predicts there will be 6 billion internet users by 2022 — and more than 7.5 billion internet users by 2030.
  • Microsoft frames digital growth with its estimate that data volumes online will be 50 times greater in 2020 than they were in 2016.
  • "The Big Data Bang" is an IoT world that will explode from 2 billion objects (smart devices that communicate wirelessly) in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 2020, according to Intel.
  • Gartner forecasts that more than half a billion wearable devices will be sold worldwide in 2021, up from roughly 310 million in 2017. Wearables includes smartwatches, head-mounted displays, body-worn cameras, Bluetooth headsets and fitness monitors.
  • Despite promises from biometrics developers of a future with no more passwords — which may, in fact, come to pass at one point in the far out future —  a 2017 report finds that the world will need to cyber protect 300 billion passwords globally by 2020.
  • There are 111 billion lines of new software code being produced each year — which introduces a massive number of vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
  • The world’s digital content is expected to grow from 4 billion zetabytes last year to 96 zetabytes by 2020. (This is how big a zetabyte is.)
  • The far corners of the Deep Web — known as the Dark Web — is intentionally hidden and used to conceal and promote heinous criminal activities. Some estimates put the size of the Deep Web (which is not indexed or accessible by search engines) at as much as 5,000 times larger than the surface web and growing at a rate that defies quantification, according to one report.
  • ABI has forecasted that more than 20 million connected cars will ship with built-in software-based security technology by 2020 — and Spanish telecom provider Telefonica states by 2020, 90 percent of cars will be online, compared with just 2 percent in 2012.
  • Hundreds of thousands — and possibly millions — of people can be hacked now via their wirelessly connected and digitally monitored implantable medical devices (IMDs) — which include cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), pacemakers, deep brain neurostimulators, insulin pumps, ear tubes and more.
  • Dr. Janusz Bryzek, vice president of MEMS and Sensing Solutions at Fairchild Semiconductor, predicts there will be 45 trillion networked sensors 20 years from now. This will be driven by smart systems, including IoT, mobile and wearable market growth, digital health, context computing, global environmental monitoring, and IBM Research’s “5 in 5” — artificial intelligence (AI), hyperimaging, macroscopes, medical “labs on a chip,” and silicon photonics.

Cyber economic results

What cyber economic numbers can be gleaned from the massively expanding cyber attack surface?

Stay tuned for a special report on cyber insurance facts, figures and statistics.

Visit SteveOnCyber.com to read all of my blogs and articles covering cybersecurity.

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