There’s more than ghosts and goblins to be on the lookout for in October. Phishers, hackers, and other nefarious characters are on the prowl – every day – trying to infiltrate your digital footprint. October is also Cybersecurity Awareness Month and we’re shining the spotlight on the dark corners and shadows of cybercrime. It’s a time to explore how we as individuals – both as consumers and employees – can better protect ourselves.

Decisions we make at home, school, or work can keep us safe or put us at risk. It’s imperative to be aware of cybersecurity and know that threats can come from anywhere.

Cybersecurity by the Numbers

Some only think about cybersecurity during periodic training at work or when a massive breach trends on social media. But being aware of the potential risks and what’s new in security should be important to us all throughout the year. Consider this:

  • The cost of cybercrime is astronomical; by 2025, it’s predicted that cybercrime costs will hit $10.5 trillion.1 And the time it takes for security teams to identify and contain a breach now averages 41 weeks (287 days).2
  • If you’ve been phished, you’re not alone as phishing is involved in 36% of data breaches.3
  • Ransomware is on a rapid rise. In 2021, it was estimated that a business suffered a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. By 2031, it’s forecasted a consumer or business will be attacked every two seconds.4
  • How seriously do businesses take cybercrime? The first business to name a CISO (chief information security officer) was in 1994;5 in 2022, 100% of the Fortune 500 companies had a CISO or equivalent.6 By 2024, Gartner predicts 75% of CEOs will be personally liable for cyber-physical security incidents.7
  • If you’re not careful when you’re online dating, you may end up with more than a broken heart. In 2021, according to the FBI, 24,000 U.S. victims reported losing $1 billion to romance scams, most often when a criminal created a fake online identity to gain a victim’s trust.8
  • As the lead federal agency investigating cyberattacks and intrusions, the FBI created the Cyber’s Most Wanted List which contains more than 115 people whose crimes include computer intrusion, wire fraud, identity theft, money laundering, and theft of trade secrets. In 2020, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 791,790 complaints from Americans, a new record.9
  • Hacking may seem like a 21st century phenomenon but the term has been with us for decades. The modern definition of “hack” was coined by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955 and the first known use of the phrase “computer hacking” was in a 1963 issue of MIT’s The Tech.10

Cybersecurity Awareness is Important Every Day

While the focus is on cybersecurity in October, each person needs to be aware of potential cyberattacks and risks every month. To protect yourself and others, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) recommend that you:

  • Enable multi-factor authentication on all devices
  • Use strong passwords that are never shared
  • Recognize and report phishing
  • Keep your software up to date

Learn how to protect your organization with Fortra’s Alert Logic managed detection and response (MDR).


  1. 2022 Cybersecurity Almanac: 100 Facts, Figures, Predictions and Statistics
  2. Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022
  3. 34 Cybersecurity Statistics to Lose Sleep Over in 2022
  4. Global Ransomware Damage Costs Predicted to Exceed $265 Billion By 2031
  5. Backstory of the World’s First Chief Information Security Officer
  6. List of Fortune 500 Chief Information Security Officers
  7. Gartner Predicts 75% of CEOs Will Be Personally Liable for Cyber-Physical Security Incidents by 2024
  8. $1 Billion in Losses Reported by Victims of Romance Scams
  9. 2020_IC3Report
  10. Happy 60th Birthday to the Word “Hack”
Heather Wiederhoeft
About the Author
Heather Wiederhoeft
Heather McLean Wiederhoeft is the Senior Content and Social Media Creator for Fortra’s Alert Logic. An accomplished strategic communicator, she brings more than 30 years’ experience in content creation, marketing communications, public relations, and publication development to the team.

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