From healthcare and manufacturing industries to retail and finance, cyberthreats plague almost all industries today. However, the banking industry faces the most significant threats. According to reports, it incurred the most cybercrime costs in 2018 and 2019, with an average cost of $18.3million. As the internet makes way to the cloud, so are these criminals.
Although companies are already putting measures in place to counter these cyberattacks, they still happen to businesses of all sizes. Finance and espionage are the motives of many cyberattacks. Consequently, four major industries crop up as the main targets of cyberattacks.
This is the most targeted industry for obvious reasons. The nature of private information handled by financial institutions is an asset most hackers would love to have in their hands. Putting things into perspective, financial institutions were noted as the most cyber-attacked industry in 2014. Consequently, a lot of them have put measures in place to nib these attacks in the bud.
What’s most fascinating about financial services to cybercriminals is the methods through which they can carry out their attacks. It is common knowledge that insider threats and lost mobile devices are the primary sources of security compromise in financial institutions. As expected, the use of malware, spyware, and general hacking of security systems can also lead to a breach of the system. Compromising business email accounts is also a common method.
The healthcare industry is another big target of cyberattacks. This industry has fallen prey to a lot of organized attacks because of the nature of customer information it handles. According to a report by IBM, the healthcare industry is a big target because the security systems for hospital databases are mostly outdated.
Hence, the data they handle, such as social security numbers, contact details, and email addresses, are susceptible to attacks. Even data of their employees are often unencrypted.
The majority of hospitals also do not employ cybersecurity staff. As a result, they lack resources and awareness with regard to cyber threats. Some of these hospitals do not have the money to employ cybersecurity staff or even update their systems. And without a security expert, they might not be informed of security updates or be able to implement them.
The implications of a security breach in the healthcare industry can cost up to $200 per patient record. In general, this includes post-breach losses such as reputational damage to the health institution and partnership losses.
Many might find it surprising to see the manufacturing industry on this list. However, it has always been vulnerable to cyberattacks and security breaches. The manufacturing industry envelopes all industries involved with the automobile, pharmaceutical, and electronic dealings.
They are a hot spot for cyberattacks because criminals are looking to steal insider information and sell it to competitors. Intellectual property is also a valuable asset in manufacturing as much as it is in most other sectors.
Despite the numerous threats faced by this industry, it is yet to comply thoroughly with regards to online securities and risk management compared to the financial sector, where online security measures have been put in place to deal with cyber threats.
Just like other industries on this list, the education sector can be described as a chest full of gold. Hackers seek educational records to change identities or private information to increase their employment opportunities. Individuals can also hack school records for other selfish gains like changing grades or deleting unwanted files from the school system.
Another loophole for cybercriminals to exploit in the education industry is the tendency of students to use the same or simple passwords for different online services. This makes them prone to password-spraying attacks as their password can be easily hacked. Also, there’s a limited number of staff in the educational sector who are assigned to security, unlike the financial industry with security personnel who ensure 24/7 protection.
Cyberattacks are prevalent in many sectors of the economy today. Of all industries, the above-listed are the primary targets. Hence, stakeholders in these industries should set up the right security systems to protect themselves against a security breach.