Annual Report from FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center Reports Loss of $6.9 Billion Due to Attacks in 2021

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center just released its annual report. You can view the full report here. The report combines 847,376 complaints received in 2021. In quick summary, it tells us that criminals continue to be proactive, successfully targeting countless businesses across just about every industry in the United States.

Let’s examine the significant findings: 

  • Cybercriminals profited $7 billion in 2021
  • Victims of cybercrime lost over $6.9 billion from attacks
  • Reported complaints increased 7% from 2020.
  • Top 3 scams reported: phishing, non-payment/non-delivery, and personal data breaches.
  • In terms of financial loss, the top 3 scams reported were: business email compromise scams, investment fraud, and romance/confidence schemes
  • Phishing remains the most common type of attack, consistently since 2019.
  • Despite continuing to make headlines, ransomware only accounted for 3,279 complaints in 2021, of 847,376.

To put it plainly, other than specific numbers that will make your stomach turn, the report isn’t telling us anything significant that we didn’t already know. We know cybercrime has been on the rise. We know the prominent actors. Regardless, here are some takeaways we’ll reiterate. The big point here is not to sleep on cybersecurity in 2022. 

PK Tech Takeaways

  1. While we want to believe we’re moving past the pandemic, the truth is that we’re still seeing its effects. COVID-19 caused significant shifts in how and where we work, opening new vulnerabilities and attack entry points. Continuing to work to mitigate these new vulnerabilities will protect your organization.
  2. Don’t forget about phishing – sometimes it seems like old news when ransomware continues to make the headlines. But this report supports that phishing was still the #1 complaint type in 2021. Spending the time and resources to train your employees to recognize signs of phishing is one of the best proactive things you can do to protect your organization.
  3. Invest in a qualified IT security team. With a continually changing IT security landscape, having a skilled team working on behalf of your organization is one of the best ways to protect your organization from a significant breach.

PK Tech supports small to medium-sized businesses in the Greater Phoenix Area. We work with healthcare, CPAs, lawyers, technology companies, and more. If we can help your business, let’s chat. Contact us here.