The government sector has joined the financial services industry as a major target of cyber attackers, according to new research released by Dimension Data.
The research shows that the number of cyberattacks on governments doubled from 7% of the total in 2015 to 14% in 2016.
Attacks on the finance sector also rose dramatically, from just 3% in 2015 to 14% of all attacks in 2016, according to the report.
The manufacturing sector came in at third place at 13%, while the retail sector, which topped the list of all cybersecurity attacks on all sectors in 2015, moved down into fourth place at 11%.
Dimension Data’s Executive’s Guide to the NTT Security 2017 Global Threat Intelligence Report was compiled from data collected by NTT Security and other NTT operating companies, including Dimension Data, from the networks of 10 000 clients across five continents, 3,5 trillion security logs, 6,2bn attempted attacks, and global “honeypots” and “sandboxes” located in over 100 countries.
Factors that may have contributed to the increase in incidents involving governments include the US presidential election campaign; a new US administration with a more aggressive stance toward China and North Korea; China adopting a more aggressive policy stance in securing its vital “core interests”; US and European Union-led economic sanctions against Russia; Russian state-sponsored actors continuing cyber operations against Western targets; and growing negative sentiment in the Middle East against the West’s aggression towards Syria.
“Government agencies hold vast amounts of sensitive information — from personnel records, budgetary data and sensitive communications, to intelligence findings,” said Dimension Data’s group executive for security, Matthew Gyde.
About 63% of all cyberattacks originated from Internet addresses in the US, followed by the UK (4%) and China (3%). The US is the predominant location of cloud-hosted infrastructure globally. Threat actors often utilise public cloud systems to orchestrate attacks due to the low cost and stability of this infrastructure, Dimension Data said. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media