More than 14.5 billion malware-laced emails were sent in 2017, and there was a 1,000-percent increase in phishing efforts, according to AppRiver’s annual Global Security Report. The report also notes that 1.9 billion data records were lost or stolen as a result of cyberattacks in the first half of 2017 alone.

2017 illustrated a significantly lower barrier-of-entry to the world of cybercrime with the emergence of malware-as-a-service, with user profile names and credit card numbers readily available on the Dark Web and distribution of 20,000 messages for just $40.

Looking ahead in 2018, AppRiver predicts that larger data breaches are on the way, and the volume of data stolen in the past year creates the potential for more widespread fraud, especially with the type of sensitive customer data stolen from firms like Equifax. The use of these hacked accounts and profiles is a jumping-off point for more creative and deceptive attacks.

The report also expects that state-sponsored attacks will increase, and new federal legislation is expected to provide guidance about incident handling and breach reporting.