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In the past year, there has been a huge increase in the number of data breaches. This number is said to have risen to more than in the previous fifteen years combined.

This is what the analysis bureau Canalys says based on its own research. According to the company, ransomware attacks have increased enormously and hospitals are particularly affected.

Canalys thinks that the Covid-19 pandemic contributed strongly to this. Many companies went under and others had to move quickly to escape the same fate. This came at the expense of cybersecurity and also led to looser policies among companies, Canalys believes. This left these companies more vulnerable to both sophisticated attackers and opportunistic hackers.

Cybersecurity not growing as fast as other IT expenses

The cybersecurity industry did experience significant growth in 2020. The industry grew by 10 percent to a total of 53 billion dollars or 45 billion euros. However, other IT branches did even better, such as mainly cloud infrastructure services. Those companies grew by 33 percent to 142 billion dollars or 121 billion euros. Other IT services, such as Zoom, Microsoft 365 and Salesforce, also saw big gains. Webcams, laptops, routers and printers were all in hot demand.

Tip: Chromebooks very popular in 2020, tablets also saw growth

Canalys fears that too many companies are overlooking the importance of cybersecurity. Companies are investing heavily in IT infrastructure to keep their heads above water, but in doing so, they are also providing much more room for malicious attacks. If the budget for cybersecurity does not grow along, they risk losing much more money. According to Canalys, companies should not think about ‘if’ they become victims of a cyberattack, but ‘when’.

“Cybersecurity must be front and center of digital plans, otherwise there will be a mass extinction of organizations, which will threaten the post-COVID-19 economic recovery,” said analyst Matthew Ball. “A lapse in focus on cybersecurity is already having major repercussions, resulting in the escalation of the current data breach crisis and acceleration of ransomware attacks.”

Tip: SANS survey shows organizations are poor in cybersecurity awareness