While the big corporations tend to make headlines when their data are breached, it’s the small and medium-sized companies that are most frequently chosen as victims by savvy cybercriminals. In fact, today’s small business landscape is plagued by cyberattacks, with 61% of small or medium-sized businesses (SMBs) experiencing an attack last year. Putting that into perspective — a full 43% of data breaches were directed at the SMB community — almost half of all cyberattacks and the primary target for cybercriminals.
Before the pandemic, many businesses were looking at digital transformations that included cloud migration. After the pandemic hit, 48% of businesses surveyed are fast-tracking their cloud migration and more than a third are looking at digitizing more processes using cloud-based technology. In general terms, the switch to cloud technology was predicated on the need for better security and collaboration to support remote and hybrid workplaces and to deal with disruptions in both business and consumer demands.
Like businesses in all industries, legal firms are at risk of attack from cybercriminals. But there is an added layer of responsibility that comes with providing legal advice to clients — and that is ensuring that they understand how to keep their data safe as well. In many cases, law firms provide targeted guidance to clients such as boards of directors, C-suite professionals, and others on cyber risk and how to minimize it.
Due to the plethora of sensitive information they handle, law firms have always been in the crosshairs of hackers. They process confidential client data, much of which can be used for extortion purposes or even insider trading. In some cases, information held by firms handling major lawsuits could be worth huge sums of money to their opponents. And law firms may have access to financial accounts tied to substantial amounts of client monies.
Hackers are targeting healthcare operations — and nursing homes in particular — to disrupt operations and force payouts to ransomware demands. By locking up access to electronic health records (EHRs), malicious actors can interfere with critical care, billing, the processing of test results, and more — all of which can be devastating to the nursing home and the patients they serve. In fact, any element of operations that is tied to IT-based infrastructure is at risk, so even phone systems, accounting functions, and building access and security can be shut down.
The manufacturing industry has been under attack by cybercriminals, especially as the coronavirus pandemic wrought havoc on supply chains and disrupted business processes in 2020. Incidents involving ransomware directly affecting manufacturing increased by 156% from 2019 to 2020 and malicious groups used ransomware to extract $17 million from a maker of laptops and $34 million from an electronics company.
Data breaches are a growing concern as they continue to increase year over year. And no industry is safe, as hackers increasingly target systems with lack of instrumentation and monitoring — that is, poor cybersecurity protections.
Government agencies and social services organizations typically handle large amounts of sensitive and personal information about individuals that must be protected from cyber threats.
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