- March 1, 2023
- Posted by: Contego Inc.
- Category: Uncategorized
In today’s world, cyber crime is becoming increasingly common and sophisticated, with hackers finding new ways to bypass security systems and gain unauthorized access to data. Though any organization can be a victim of a cyber attack, some industries are particularly vulnerable due to the nature of their data and the potential to damage critical infrastructure. This article explores the eight industries most targeted by cyber criminals and the techniques they use to carry out their attacks.
Financial services organizations, such as banks and credit unions, are prime targets for cyber criminals due to the extensive sensitive data they possess. The most common techniques used to breach these organizations are phishing, ransomware, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. These methods are used to gain access to financial data and disrupt banking services. Capital One, one of the largest banks in the US, suffered a massive data breach in 2019, which compromised the personal and financial information of over 100 million customers. The breach was caused by a misconfigured firewall, which allowed a hacker to gain access to the sensitive data.
Healthcare organizations are targeted for the valuable patient data they store, which can be sold on the dark web for a high price. Common methods used to attack these organizations include ransomware, phishing, and malware. Attackers use these methods to gain access to patient data, which they can then use for identity theft or extortion. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, a hospital in Los Angeles, was hit with a ransomware attack in 2016. The hospital was forced to pay a ransom of $17,000 in Bitcoin to regain access to its patient data.
Retailers and e-commerce platforms are targeted for their customers’ payment information and personal data. Point of sale (POS) attacks, phishing, and malware are the most common techniques used to attack them. These methods are used to gain access to customer data, which can then be used for financial gain. Target, one of the largest retailers in the US, suffered a data breach in 2013, which compromised the credit and debit card information of over 40 million customers. The breach was caused by a third-party vendor who had access to Target’s systems.
Government agencies are targeted for their access to sensitive information, the potential to disrupt critical infrastructure, and political motivations. Phishing, advanced persistent threats (APTs), and malware are the most common techniques employed to breach these organizations. These methods are used to gain access to sensitive government information and disrupt government services. The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) suffered a massive data breach in 2015, which compromised the personal information of over 22 million current and former government employees. The breach was caused by a Chinese hacking group using stolen credentials.
Educational institutions are targeted for their valuable research data and personal information on students and staff. Common techniques used to attack these organizations include ransomware, phishing, and malware. These methods are used to gain access to research data and student and staff personal information, which can then be used for financial gain. The University of California, Berkeley suffered a data breach in 2016, which compromised the personal information of over 80,000 current and former students and employees. The breach was caused by a vulnerability in the university’s financial management system.
Energy companies, such as oil and gas providers, are targeted for their potential to disrupt critical infrastructure and cause massive damage. Common techniques used to attack these organizations include phishing, spear phishing, and APTs. These methods are used to gain access to critical infrastructure, which can then be used for sabotage. Ukraine’s power grid was targeted by a group of hackers in 2015, which caused a blackout that affected over 200,000 people. The attack was carried out using malware, which disrupted the power grid’s control systems.
Manufacturing companies are targeted for their intellectual property, such as trade secrets and proprietary technology. Spear phishing, malware, and ransomware are the most common techniques used to breach them. These methods are used to gain access to valuable intellectual property, which can then be used for financial gain or corporate espionage. Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, suffered a data breach in 2017, which was caused by a rogue employee who stole sensitive company data and leaked it online.
Transportation companies, including airlines and shipping providers, are sought after for their valuable customer and payment data, as well as the potential to disrupt critical infrastructure. Phishing, ransomware, and DDoS attacks are the most common methods used to attack them. These methods are used to gain access to valuable customer data and disrupt transportation services. British Airways suffered a data breach in 2018, which compromised the personal and financial information of over 500,000 customers. The breach was caused by a group of hackers who used a script to skim payment information from the airline’s website.
We Can Help
To protect against potential threats, organizations must implement robust security measures, educate employees on how to detect and prevent cyber attacks, and regularly conduct security audits and vulnerability assessments.Contego provides comprehensive cyber threat assessments that can help organizations identify and mitigate potential risks, empowering them to better protect their data and devices from cyber-attacks. Contact us today to arrange a free assessment and learn more about how you can secure your network.