Government & Finance are the Most Targeted Sectors of CyberAttacks

New research has revealed that the number of cyberattacks targeting the government sector has doubled in 2016, jumping to 14% from 7% in the space of a year.

Financial sector companies have had disruptive 2016 with a dramatic rise in cyberattacks last year, up from 3% in 2015 to 14% in 2016, up nearly 5x.

The details were provided by Dimension Data’s Global Threat Intelligence Report 2017, with data gathered from 10,000 clients across five continents. The comprehensive survey is based on 3.5 trillion security logs and 6.2 billion attempted attacks alongside global honeypots and sandboxes across 100 countries. The data was first published Dimension Data’s Executive’s Guide to the NTT Security 2017 Global Threat Intelligence Report. The report itself was created on data gathered by NTT Security.

Notably, 63% of all cyberattacks originated from IP addresses based in the United States, which is the predominant location of cloud-hosted infrastructure in the world. Public cloud infrastructure appeals to threat actors due to their low costs and high stability.

While the financial sector is an obvious target for cybercriminals due to the lure of monetary gains, a number of high-profile events in the geopolitical space have pushed the government sector to the top of the hit-list.

The US presidential campaign notably saw fingers pointed at China and, more prominently, Russia, who have been accused of targeting and hacking the email servers belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The rise of US and European Union sanctions against Russia could have led to an uprising in Russian-speaking cybercriminals. Russian state-sponsored hackers are also known to be ramping up cyberespionage operations against Western nations.

Matthew Gyde, group executive at Dimension Data stated:

Governments all over the world are constantly under the threat of sophisticated attacks launched by rival nation-states, terrorist groups, hacktivists, and cyber criminals. That’s because government agencies hold vast amounts of sensitive information – from personnel records, budgetary data, and sensitive communications, to intelligence findings.

Other takeaways from the report reveal that the top cybersecurity threats facing businesses are phishing scams, social engineering ploys, ransomware extortion, business email compromise and distributed denial of service (DDoS) disruption.

The complete report can be found here.

Image credit: Wikimedia.