Any business or individual can fall victim to cyberattacks, but some industries become more popular among cybercriminals than others. Reports on financial losses caused by data breaches show that many companies lack a strategy to manage these risks.
Which industries are most vulnerable to cyber attacks
According to HelpNet Security 4.1 billion accounts were hacked in the first half of 2019, while the average business loss due to data breaches is about $ 4 million. The vast majority of these cyberattacks take place through phishing emails through well-designed social engineering scripts. All that is needed to gain access to confidential information of a company is to convince its employee to open a malicious letter, follow the link specified in it, or click on the attached file. If this employee works in a sufficiently “closed” department, having access to confidential information, this can become a serious threat to the entire organization.
Phishing is not new, and some companies are fully aware of the risks, but employees still fall for it. Every third employee clicks on malicious attachments or links after opening a phishing email. Every eighth employee sends cybercriminals the information they request. This demonstrates how low the level of cybersecurity awareness is in most companies.
Even with the number of cyber incidents occurring, some companies are reluctant to improve their security. Small businesses are far less prepared than large ones. According to the Ponemon Institute report, up to 67% of companies with less than 1,000 employees are subject to cyberattacks. 60% of these companies run the risk of not recovering due to the damage caused by cyberattacks.
Industries most vulnerable to cybercriminals
Evidently, cybercriminals do not look at the size of organizations. However, which industries are most attractive to them? Various reports prove that certain industries turn to be the most vulnerable to cyberattacks in 2020:
- Finance and Banking
- Crypto and Blockchain
- Business and IT
- Public Sector
The COVID-19 crisis demonstrated to what extent the rate of cyberattacks has increased. According to Interpol, 59% of cyberattacks are phishing. Another HealthSecurity report shows that there has been a 49% increase in the number of hacker attacks in the healthcare sector, resulted in 41.4 million patient records breached.
Finance and Banking
According to Fortunly,71% of all breaches are financially motivated. One of the recent notorious incidents was the attack on Travelex, when the company paid hackers a $ 2.3 million bitcoin ransom.
Crypto and Blockchain
There are many examples of cyberattacks targeting cryptocurrency companies. One of the most recent is the Ledger company case, specialized in cryptocurrency wallets. 1 million emails and thousands of personal data were compromised.
The latest EdScoop post is about cyberattacks targeting educational institutions and the growing frequency and financial impact of attacks. The industry has suffered from numerous attacks this year, particularly one attack that captured the headlines – the case of The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), when hackers extorted $ 1.14 million ransom for encrypted file recovery.
In 2020, the growing popularity of games played into the hands of cybercriminals. Even some popular games like Minecraft, Counter Strike or Fortnite have been hit by cyberattacks. Hackers were interested not only in specific games but also in companies and providers. No gamer was happy to hear the news of millions of records breached at huge gaming corporations including Activision, Razer, and Nintendo
Gambling industry is expected to reach $100 billion in a few years, so it is no surprise that cybercriminals are interested in this field. One of the most recent incidents happened with the popular gambling application – Clubillion when the data of millions of users was leaked.
In April SBTech gambling provider became a target of cybercriminals. The company had to set aside $30 million to deal with a cyberattack. In March, the BetUS gaming operator was hacked, and in January there was a data breach in the SuperCasino gaming platform.
Business and IT
Unfortunately, all businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks. According to Riskbasedsecurity, Q1 2020 was one of the worst in the history of breaches: over 8 billion records were hacked.
Many of these records are related to the business and IT sector. Probably the most sensational are the stories from Twitter (hackers compromised about 350 million user accounts), Marriott (data breach of about 5.2 million guests), and Zoom (500,000 stolen passwords).
According to Verizon’s latest “Data Breach Investigation Report,” 16% of data breaches occurred in the public sector (excluding healthcare). Atlas VPN report indicates that 17 million public sector records were leaked in the first quarter of 2020. The list of the latest known incidents covers various areas around the world (governments, water suppliers, penitentiary services, tax authorities, electricity suppliers, etc.)
Steps to Protect Your Business from hackers
Many employees have at least basic knowledge of what a malicious email is and how cybercriminals operate. However, numerous polls and studies show that most of them are completely unaware of how vulnerable their data is. When people hear the term “phishing email,” they often think that it is related to medical scams, stories of long-lost relatives who left a huge legacy. However, there appeared more innovative social engineering tactics with personalized emails that employees do not detect as fraud.
Here are some guidelines that can help keep your business safe from cyberattacks:
- Employee training is an important step in managing the risk of cyberattacks. Employees (especially those who deal with sensitive information) should be extremely careful about what they download, to whom, and how they send the data.
- Investing in protection from phishing.
- The use of multi-factor identification (MFA) is one of the key elements in the fight against hackers.
- When using passwords, make sure they are strong.
- Firewall and anti-virus software are vital.
- Enlist the support of cybersecurity experts with whom you can consult on the latest threats and defensive measures.