CyberEdge's annual Cyberthreat Defense Report (CDR) reveals the top five cybersecurity insights for 2020. 

1. The bad guys are more active than ever. The percentage of organizations affected by a successful cybersecurity attack had leveled off during the previous three years, but this year it jumped from 78% to 80.7%. Not only that, for the first time ever, 35.7% of organizations experienced six or more successful attacks. The number of respondents saying that a successful attack on their organization is very likely in the coming 12 months also reached a record level. 

2. Ransomware attacks and payments continue to rise. Ransomware is trending in the wrong direction: 62% of organizations were victimized by ransomware last year, up from 56% in 2018 and 55% in 2017. This rise is arguably fueled by the dramatic increase in ransomware payments. 58% of ransomware victims paid a ransom last year, up from 45% in 2019 and 38% in 2017. 

3. People are the biggest problem. The greatest barriers to establishing effective defenses are: (a) lack of skilled IT security personnel and (b) low security awareness among employees. According to respondents, these are more serious than issues like too much data to analyze, lack of management support and budget. 

4. But IT security is having some successes. Respondents say the adequacy of their organization's IT security capabilities has increased in all eight of the functional areas. They rated these improvements as greatest in application development and testing, identity and access management (IAM), and attack surface reduction through patch management and penetration testing. 

5. Advanced security analytics and machine learning are becoming "must-haves." Implementations of advanced security analytics took off over the past year and are expected to keep rising. Organizations are showing a strong preference for IT security products that feature machine learning and other forms of AI. 

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