Top 8 Industries Affected by Cyber Attacks

Imagine you’re the CEO of a large company. You’ve just been hit by a cyber attack. Millions of dollars are gone, sensitive customer information has been leaked, and your reputation is in shambles.

Now imagine that this scenario isn’t just a figment of your imagination, but a reality for many businesses today. Cyber attacks are becoming more and more common, and no industry is safe.

According to IBM’s 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study, the average cost of a data breach is now $3.86 million. And while that number is staggering on its own, it doesn’t take into account the long-term damage to a company’s reputation and bottom line.

So which industries are being hit the hardest by cyber attacks?

1. Banking and Financial Services

This industry has always been a target for cyber criminals, due to the large sums of money involved. In 2016, Bangladesh’s central bank was hacked, resulting in the theft of $81 million.

2. Healthcare

While patients’ medical records have always been valuable to hackers, recent ransomware attacks have taken this to a whole new level. In 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack hit hospitals around the world, causing them to lose access to critical patient data.

3. Retail

The retail industry is also a prime target for cyber criminals, as they can gain access to sensitive customer information, such as credit card numbers and addresses. In 2014, Target was the victim of a massive data breach, which resulted in the loss of over 40 million customer records.

4. Technology

With the ever-growing reliance on technology, it’s no surprise that this industry is also a major target for cyber attacks. In 2017, Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the world, was hit by a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of over 145 million people.

5. Manufacturing

Manufacturing companies are also at risk for cyber attacks, as they can often be easy targets due to their lack of security measures. In 2016, German steel manufacturer Thyssenkrupp was hit by a ransomware attack that caused production downtime and disrupted shipments.

6. Education

Schools and universities are also increasingly being targeted by cyber criminals. In 2018, the University of Maryland was the victim of a data breach that exposed the personal information of over 300,000 students and staff.

7. Energy and Utilities

The energy and utilities sector is another prime target for cyber attacks, as a successful attack can cause widespread disruption. In 2016, Ukraine’s power grid was hit by a cyber attack that left over 225,000 people without power.

8. Government

And finally, no list of industries affected by cyber attacks would be complete without mentioning the government. In 2016, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management was hit by a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of over 21 million people.

While no industry is completely safe from cyber attacks, there are steps that businesses can take to reduce their risk. One of the best ways to protect your business is to partner with a managed service provider (MSP). An MSP can provide your business with the necessary security measures to help prevent a cyber attack, as well as the expertise to quickly respond if one does occur.

Chris Turn