New insights from Juniper Research have predicted a rather dire future for modern businesses.
Criminal data breaches will cost businesses a total of $8 trillion over the next five years, according to Juniper, largely due to higher levels of connectivity without an appreciation of the additional actions necessary to make these systems secure.
The study, The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Enterprise Threats & Mitigation 2017-2022, forecasts the number of stolen personal data records will reach 2.8 billion this year and will almost double to 5 billion in 2020 - this is despite new and innovative cybersecurity solutions emerging to stop these cybercriminals
In light of the current era of digital transformation, the study underlined problems become acute when businesses integrate new and old systems without regard to overall network security.
Juniper also found that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are at a heightened risk from cyberattacks, given the average spend on cybersecurity measures in this category is less than $4,000 per year, which is expected to increase only slight over the next five years.
The company asserts another defining factor is these businesses tend to run older software, which WannaCry and other recent cyberattacks have taken advantage of.
Juniper research author, James Moar says the research highlights the need for companies to put more money into cybersecurity and system upkeep, and should be treated as a vital element of workplace safety.
"The attacks on hospital infrastructure show that inadequate cybersecurity can now cost lives as well as money," says Moar.
"Businesses of all sizes need to find the time and budget to upgrade and secure their systems, or lose the ability to perform their jobs safely, or at all."
The research also highlighted a particularly alarming situation where ransomware is becoming a far more advanced form of malware, as ransom stored data and devices becomes easier and more valuable than stealing financial details.
While most companies are aware of this already, the alarming part is Juniper expects ransomware to rapidly develop into simple-to-use toolkits, the same way banking Trojans developed into 'products' that required little or no programming knowledge to use.