By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
Nobody is immune to cyber attacks. From clothing stores to insurance providers, any company is a potential victim. Cybercriminals don’t discriminate on who to hit, as long as they can profit from it. However, data has shown certain industries are more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Here are four examples.
Several large-scale cyber threats in the past few years affected hospitals. The healthcare industry is, therefore, at the top of a cybercriminal’s list of targets. And it’s not hard to see why.
The healthcare industry typically does not allocate many resources to cybersecurity, so their infrastructure is weak at best and nonexistent at worst. Add to this the fact that most healthcare professionals are poorly—if at all—trained in basic cybersecurity practices, and what you have is an easy yet highly profitable target for cybercrime.
2. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
As we’ve mentioned in a previous post, SMEs rank high in terms of vulnerability to online threats, and experts believe that this trend will not only persist but will also be on an upward trajectory in 2018.
Small business owners often do not take cyber attacks seriously. They do not think of themselves as valuable enough to be hit, which is what makes them such easy targets. Cybercriminals make a lot of money stealing from SME operators because they know that these smaller businesses simply don’t have the resources needed to adequately defend themselves.
A cybercriminals aim, after all, is to make money, so it makes sense that the financial sector is one of their go-to targets. Attacks on corporations like JPMorgan Chase have forced the entire industry to make significant investments in improving its cybersecurity. So while financial institutions remain a top target, their amped-up cybersecurity means that they are not as vulnerable as they used to be. In an article published by Forbes, it is stated that banks like Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Bank of America collectively spend at least $1.5 billion on their cybersecurity infrastructure. While the profit margins are high if you can hack into a bank, in today’s world, it’s becoming increasingly difficult. Hence cybercriminals have been seeking easier targets.
As attacks on the NSA and the IRS show, government agencies are certainly one of the preferred targets for cybercriminals. Why? Because, like the healthcare industry, the US government has a rather weak cybersecurity system in place. According to the Dmitri Alperovitch, the CTO of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, the US government does not have the technology needed to protect itself in a speedy manner. This should be a cause for alarm, as the US government is responsible for the information of millions upon millions of Americans.
If you’re looking for a tool that can provide protection for your business, a virtual private network (VPN) is a powerful and affordable way to encrypt your online activities. Visit our website to download Hotspot Shield, and for more helpful tips on cybersecurity, check out our top 5 cybersecurity resolutions.