Businesses are experiencing significant losses and increased costs due to cybersecurity issues

Cybersecurity is a bigger concern than ever before. The Kentucky Chamber testified in front of legislators Wednesday detailing the ways the issue is impacting businesses and individuals across the state.

Kentucky Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Kate Shanks told lawmakers in many ways, trends in cybersecurity have been moving in the wrong direction and big costs are now necessary for prevention and dealing with the aftermath of an attack.

Businesses find that most breaches, around 80%, come from external sources and are driven by money. One study shows the average cost and time to resolve is around $170,000 and 7.5 months.

Some of the hardest hit industries are education, government, healthcare, construction, and manufacturing and Shanks added small businesses are also often targeted.

Shanks said industry experts are now recommending a business dedicate 10-15% of their IT budget toward cybersecurity.

C-Forward Virtual Chief Information Officer Bryan Cobb said ransomware attacks are on the rise and everyone is a target. He said companies must have backups for their data and ensure training for employees so they do not fall for business email scams.

Cobb said not only are business losses skyrocketing with costs increasing from $60 million in 2014 to more than $1.6 billion in 2019 and cyber liability losses increasing from 47% in 2019 to 73% in 2020, but costs for liability insurance coverage for businesses is also increasing substantially and some companies can’t even get insurance coverage.

Recommendations presented to the group include building a cyber security workforce talent pipeline, avoiding overly prescriptive regulations and instead focusing on approaches at the federal level, public-private partnerships such as information sharing with government agencies, ensuring an environment that allows for private sector innovation, and increased support from law enforcement agencies to ensure criminals are prosecuted.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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