Sunday, May 19, 2024

Cyber Attack Surge by 28%:Education Sector at High Risk

In Q1 2024, Check Point Research (CPR) witnessed a notable increase in the average number of cyber attacks per organization per week, reaching 1308.

This marked a 5% increase from Q1 2023 and a 28% increase from the last quarter of 2023.

This escalation is not just a number but a stark reminder of the persistent and evolving threat landscape.

The substantial increase from Q4 2023 accentuates a worrying trend of rapid escalation in cyber threats.

Global Cyber Security Trends for Q1 2024
Global Cyber Security Trends for Q1 2024

Global Attacks Per Industry

The Education/Research sector experienced a significant blow with an average of 2454 attacks per organization weekly, leading the chart in targeted industries, followed by the Government/Military (1692 attacks per week) and Healthcare (1605 attacks per organization) sectors, signaling an alarming vulnerability in sectors that are pivotal to societal function, as reported by Checkpoint.

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However, the substantial year-on-year increase in attacks on the Hardware Vendor industry, rising by 37%, underlines a strategic shift in cybercriminals’ target preference.

This industry’s increasing reliance on hardware for IoT and smart devices makes these vendors lucrative targets for cybercriminals.

Regional Attacks/Industry

Regionally, Africa surged to the forefront with an average of 2373 attacks per week per organization, a 20% jump from the same period in 2023.

In contrast, Latin America showed a 20% decline, perhaps indicating a shift in focus or improved defensive measures in the region; another reason could be cybercriminals’ temporary shift in focus on other, more vulnerable areas worldwide.

The data also revealed a nuanced picture of varying intensities and types of cyber threats in different regions, underscoring cyber warfare’s complex and dynamic nature.

RegionAvg weekly attacks per orgYoY Change
Latin America1267-20%
North America972+2%

In Q1 2024, North America was the region most impacted by Ransomware attacks, accounting for 59% out of close to 1000 published ransomware attacks, followed by Europe (24%) and APAC (12%).

The most significant increase in reported attacks compared to Q1 2023 was seen in Europe, with a significant 64% increase.

This significant increase could be attributed to the increased digitization of services and regulatory environments, which may make organizations more vulnerable or visible targets.

In contrast, North America saw a 16% increase, indicating a sustained focus by attackers on this region.

The most impacted Industry globally was the Manufacturing sector, accounting for 29% of published ransomware attacks and almost double the number of reported attacks Year over Year.

This was followed by the Healthcare industry, which had 11% of the attacks (and a 63% increase Year over Year), and Retail/Wholesale, which had 8% of the attacks.

Percent of Published Ransomware AttacksPercent out of Published Ransomware AttacksYoY Change in Amount of Published Attacks
Software vendor3%-61%

The data underscores the importance of a proactive and adaptive cybersecurity strategy to mitigate the risks posed by the evolving threat landscape.

As cyber-attacks become more sophisticated, the need for advanced defense mechanisms and awareness becomes paramount.

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Divya is a Senior Journalist at GBhackers covering Cyber Attacks, Threats, Breaches, Vulnerabilities and other happenings in the cyber world.

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