Companies and organizations worldwide are losing billions due to cybercrime each year. Although most of them have significantly increased their cybersecurity budgets, cyber attacks like data breaches, phishing, ransomware attacks, or cyber espionage still represent one of the biggest risks in the business sector.
According to data presented by TradingPlatforms.com, the information and finance industry were the most targeted by cyber espionage, with almost 300 reported cases last year.
Over the years, cyber espionage became a growing threat affecting industrial sectors and critical and strategic infrastructures worldwide, including government ministries, railways, telecommunication providers, energy companies, hospitals, and banks.
Its main goal is to steal state and trade secrets and confidential data in strategic fields. State-backed cyber spies may also seek intellectual property from advanced industries or customers’ data from finance or travel companies.
Once, cyber attackers might have needed the latest zero-days to gain access to corporate networks. However, today, phishing emails using social engineering tactics are most likely to provide attackers with the initial entry they need.
The 2020 ENISA report showed that almost 65% of cyber espionage incidents involve phishing attacks. Also, around 11% of cyber incidents and 20% of data breaches were motivated by cyber espionage.
Behind the internet and the finance industry, as the sectors most threatened by cyber espionage, the healthcare organizations remain an increasingly popular target amongst cybercriminals, especially those exploiting the worldwide interest in the COVID-19 vaccine.
Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report showed that there were 119 reported cyber-espionage cases targeting companies and organizations in this sector last year.
Public administration and professional services also rank high on this list, with 118 and 114 cyber espionage cases in 2020. The real estate market, the accommodation sector and administrative services reported 14, 11, and 10 cases, respectively.
Companies Increasingly Investing in Cyber Insurance
As data applications and technology in the business sector increase, organizations are becoming more aware of the need for insurance coverage for cyber risks. Cyber insurance helps companies and organizations hedge against the potentially devastating effects of cyber espionage, ransomware, malware, or any other cyber attack used to compromise a network and sensitive data.
Last year, the global cyber insurance market hit $7.8bn value, revealed the MarketsandMarkets report. The growing number of companies taking preventive measures against cyberattacks is expected to continue driving the impressive growth of the entire sector. In 2021, the cyber insurance market is expected to grow by 21% YoY to hit a $9.5bn value. By 2025, this figure is forecast to hit $20.4bn.