Which Industries Are Most Targeted by Cyber Attacks

March 12, 2021

Experts predict that the annual cost of cybercrime could reach as high as $6 trillion in 2021. With the skyrocketing increase in cyberattacks, no business or industry is immune to hackers and data breaches.

Some industries, though, are considerably more targeted than others.

According to a 2016 Forrester report, 95 percent of all data breaches that year occurred in three industries: government, retail, and technology. In subsequent years, these industries have continued to be primary targets, along with several other data-sensitive business sectors.

Industries Most Vulnerable to Cyberattacks

Here are nine of the industries and businesses that continue to be among the most targeted by cybercriminals:

  • Government
  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Energy/utilities
  • Small businesses
  • Manufacturing
  • Legal firms
  • Colleges and universities

While this is a seemingly disparate group, cybersecurity experts agree: The one common denominator these industries share is their access to, and dependence upon, vitally sensitive personal information.

The Importance of Protecting Personal Data

Cybercriminals collect huge chunks of consumer data filled with personally identifiable information (PII) and package them into databases known as "combo lists."These lists can contain 1.8 billion credentials, filled with information such as passwords, email addresses, contact information, healthcare records, and even shopping habits. Criminals can use this information for various illegal activities, from financial theft and fraudulent marketing to stalking and personal blackmail.

In addition to PII, many professional cybercriminals look for vital, top-secret information relating to industry competition, new technological advancements, and government national security. Unlike cybercriminals trying to scam consumers, these specialized cyber spy hackers work by contract to ruin corporations, damage infrastructure, and even sabotage government operations.

The High Cost of Customer Loss from Data Breaches

Data breaches are a primary reason for customer loss. Whether you own a major corporation or a small self-operated business, few things are worse than having to send out emails to your customers advising them that, due to a cybersecurity breach in your company, their personal information has been compromised. No matter the cause of the breach, it makes your company look irresponsible and unprofessional.

Studies show that 83 percent of customers won’t do business with a company if they have concerns about their security protections. Conversely, 89 percent of businesses say that a reputation for having better cybersecurity has actually won them more customers.

The Solution: Finding a Cybersecurity System Customized to Your Business

No matter how large or small your business, you can be at risk of a cyberattack. In fact, as cyberattacks become more prevalent, small businesses are becoming increasingly targeted. Statistics show that more than two-thirds of companies with fewer than 1,000 employees have been the victim of a cyberattack, and 58 percent have experienced a data breach.

The good news is that implementing cybersecurity systems can help to avoid as much as 93 percent of security breaches. That’s why the most successful companies today are the ones that take a proactive approach by protecting their data before a breach can occur.

However, cybersecurity isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. When selecting an IT service provider to help secure your data, look for one that offers a customized approach. You want to choose a company that offers cybersecurity services for your particular industry, with solutions tailored to your unique business needs and requirements.

At Option One Technologies, we offer a range of personalized cybersecurity services custom designed to protect your data, network systems, cloud environment, and endpoints. In addition, we offer backup and disaster recovery solutions, full system development, management, monitoring, cloud service, and support for your entire network and all your devices.

If you’re in the Boston, Cambridge, or New England area and you’re looking for a managed service and cybersecurity provider you can trust, contact us for more information on our comprehensive internet services.

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