Don’t Get Burned


History is full of famous last words. There’s some controversy as to the famous last words of a daredevil: They’re either, “Watch this,” or “What could go wrong?.” And the famous last words of many surfers and swimmers have been, “Are you kidding? “I’ll never get bit by a shark.”

Likewise, the famous last words of more and more business owners have been, “Cyberattack? Me? Never happen.” That, unfortunately, constitutes a very expensive way to find out you’re wrong.

Reality Check

According to the October edition of Best’s Review magazine, in an article entitled “Cyber Coverage Hits Landmark but Challenges Remain,” we learn this:

This insurance coverage celebrates its 25th year of existence in 2022 … Not only have the policies changed dramatically over those 25 years but so have the exposures [and] the risks … The average cost of a data breach globally averages to US$4.35 million in 2022 … [affecting] not just major corporations, but middle-market and even small businesses … cyber insurance rates for 2021 had risen the most in the following industries: energy/oil/gas and utilities; media/leisure/entertainment; professional services; IT/technology/telecoms; financial services; and public sectors.

If you work in those industries — and others — your chances of suffering a cyber attack are greater than your chances of being bitten by a shark or struck by lightning. And given the exponential proliferation of cyber attacks, running the risk of suffering such an attack seems to fall somewhere on a scale between unwise and self-destructive. There might be good reason for running such a risk. But we don’t know what it is. And it certainly isn’t money.

Follow the Bouncing Ball

The chart below shows increases in cyber attacks and their related implications for the past 17 years.

The good new is there was a slight decrease in data compromises from 2021 to 2022. The bad news is the bad guys who perpetrate cyber attacks haven’t taken any time off, but they have gotten increasingly more adept at getting what they want. And what they want is your data and the opportunity to hold you at ransom for it.

Here’s the bottom line: You can play fast and loose with your cybersecurity if you want to. But if you do, the thing that’s likely to suffer most is your bottom line.

Don’t get struck by lightning.