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The Sectors Most Targeted By Cybercrime

This is a syndicated repost published with the permission of Statista | Infographics. To view original, click here. Opinions herein are not those of the Wall Street Examiner or Lee Adler. Reposting does not imply endorsement. The information presented is for educational or entertainment purposes and is not individual investment advice.

The Cold War fought via clandestine operations with boots on the ground and proxy conflicts between parties backed by the U.S., China or Russia might be a thing of the past, but the times of bloc-based warfare are far from over. Now, the theatres of war have largely become digital, with state-sponsored or -affiliated groups conducting cyber warfare against targets in various sectors.

According to a recent Reuters report, United States and United Kingdom officials officially imposed sanctions against the hacking group Advanced Persistent Threat 31 allegedly linked to the Chinese government on Monday, citing a “decade-plus spying spree [compromising] defense contractors, dissidents and a variety of U.S. companies, including American steel, energy, and apparel firms.”

As data from the open-access database of the European Repository of Cyber Incidents shows, the sector most targeted by malevolent actors according to reports by either victims, attackers, authorities, security companies, media or third parties is critical infrastructure. In 2023 alone, 500 incidents involving industries like energy, telecommunications, transport or health were entered into the database, followed by attacks on state institutions or political systems (376) and corporate targets (113). Overall, the EuRepoC recorded 895 cyber operations in 2023, with many of said operations involving more than one incident. As of March 26, 171 cyberoperations reported in 2024 are found in EuRepoC’s database, with 89 incidents connected to critical infrastructure and 82 to state institutions or political systems, including on ministries, civil services or the police.

While cyberattacks on regular companies can, at most, lead to financial harm or data on their inner workings being exposed, attacks on power stations, the energy grid or telecommunications networks could potentially evolve into a national security threat. This makes cybersecurity not only necessary but a lucrative and competitive market. According to estimates by various sources like our Statista Market Insights and the IDC, the worldwide estimated cybersecurity spend for 2023 ranged somewhere between $160 and $220 billion, with the market poised to grow significantly in the next three to five years.

This chart shows the number of cyber attacks recorded per sector.

Number of cyber attacks recorded per sector

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