What Industries Are Cyber Criminals Most Interested In?

Nov 2, 2021

Cyber criminals pose a threat to all businesses, and its important you protect your business by having good and up-to-date Cybersecurity. However, there are some industries which are at a bigger risk to Cyber-attacks and so should take greater precaution when it comes to Cybersecurity.

  1. Small businesses – You may think because you’re a small business, cyber criminals won’t be interested, however it’s the exact opposite. Small businesses often don’t have the resources to put into Cybersecurity, or don’t bother with it because they think cyber criminals aren’t interested, and this makes them an easy target for hackers. In 2019, 43% of cyber-attacks were directed towards small businesses.
  2. Healthcare – In the last 3 years, more than 90% of all healthcare organisations have reported at least one security breach. The problem was worsened in 2020 when cybercriminals took advantage of increased vulnerabilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cyber-attacks on healthcare organisations more than doubled compared to 2019 – with almost one-third of those attacks being ransomware cases.
  3. Government Agencies –  It’s hardly surprising that government agencies are one of the top targets for cybercriminals due to the masses of sensitive data they hold. Ransomware makes ip the majority of all cyber-attacks on government agencies.
  4. Financial Institutions – Again, its no surprise financial institutions are one of the most targeted industries by cybercriminals. Server attacks and data theft are among the top concerns for today’s financial institutions. A report has shown that financial services have more than 350,000 exposed sensitive files on average, making them one of the most at-risk industries for cyberattacks. When these sensitive files are left unprotected, hackers can use malicious code to infiltrate servers which contain exposed files to steal personal and financial information. Increased mobile banking usage has also contributed to more attacks via app-based trojans and fake banking apps.
  5. Education – Schools have also become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks due to the increased use of technology in teaching. Microsoft Security Intelligence reports 62% of nearly 5.8 million malware cases reported came from the education sector.
  6. Energy and Utility Companies – The May 2021 Colonial Pipeline outage is just one recent example of the growing number of ransomware attacks on energy and utility companies. Hackers were able to take down the largest fuel pipeline in the US, which led to gas shortages across the East Coast. Many energy companies are often seen as unethical epoch can be a reason, (alongside the financial gains), for people to hack the industry.

Even if your industry isn’t on this list, it’s important to take your Cybersecurity seriously as a cyber-attack can happen to anyone, in any sector.