Number and cost of cyberattacks continue to grow, new survey says

The majority of those polled say they dealt with a cyberattack sometime in the past three years. More than half faced a ransomware attack.

Bree Fowler Senior Writer
Bree Fowler writes about cybersecurity and digital privacy. Before joining CNET she reported for The Associated Press and Consumer Reports. A Michigan native, she's a long-suffering Detroit sports fan, world traveler, wannabe runner and champion baker of over-the-top birthday cakes and all-things sourdough.
Expertise cybersecurity, digital privacy, IoT, consumer tech, smartphones, wearables
Bree Fowler
Keyboard section showing a "cyber crime" key.

The pandemic hasn't stopped cybercriminals.


The coronavirus pandemic hasn't stopped cybercriminals. The number of cyberattacks against companies around the world rose 15% over the past three years, according to a new survey.

Additionally, 87% of those surveyed in cybersecurity company Anomali's poll of cybersecurity decision makers said their company had experienced a cyberattack in the past three years that resulted in damage, disruption or a data breach.

Nearly three in 10 of those polled said their losses due to cyberattacks totaled $500,000 or more in 2020, nearly double the rate of 2019. And nearly half of the respondents reported losses of $100,000 or more.

Meanwhile, the threat of ransomware continues to loom. About half of those polled reported being hit with a ransomware attack sometime in the past three years and 39% admitted to paying a ransom. Nineteen percent said they paid $500,000 or more.

The survey, commissioned by Anomali, was performed online by Harris Poll between Sept. 9 and Oct. 13 of last year. Those polled included enterprise security professionals from companies with more than 5,000 employees in the US, the UK, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Mexico and Brazil.