Most Impactful Cybersecurity Threats of 2019 So Far

Laura BednarCybersecurity and VulnerabilitiesLeave a Comment

Cybersecurity Threats 2019

Dozens of cyber security threats are reported annually. Some are more harmful and destructive than others. In the first half of 2019 alone, there have been numerous cybersecurity issues involving data breaches, viruses, and hacking campaigns. With government security still questionable, global geopolitical tensions, and weaknesses in corporate security, many risks are undoubtedly to come. Here’s the “worst of the worst” so far this year and how it compares to cybersecurity issues of the past.

Impactful Cybersecurity Threats of 2019

 

Ransomware

 

These attacks have historically affected the global network. It’s nothing new in 2019, but it’s getting worse. Health care providers, businesses, and local governments have been prime targets this year for serious attacks. Attacks in 2019 appear to be even more targeted than they have in the past. Some, like the LockerGoga attack, even cause physical harm. LockerGoga targeted an industrial plant, damaging control systems and ultimately creating malfunctions in the operation of physical equipment. A major ransomware attack, which happened in May 2019, targeted a US border security contractor. It stole data from 100,000 individuals.

 

Data Breaches

 

Data breaches can happen in any industry. To date in 2019, they are most prevalent in the following areas:

  • Healthcare providers
  • Insurance providers
  • Dating sites
  • Restaurants
  • Online gaming and video games

In 2019, Experian says data breaches are at their highest in history. Of all the industries listed, online gaming sites are forecast to see the highest rates of security issues in the future. Sixteen incidences of data breaches were reported in January 2019 alone. Millions were affected. A major data breach targeted Fortnite, an online video game with more than 200 million users. Personal information was collected from many user accounts. Collection1, which stole email addresses and passwords, affected more than 773 million people between January and February 2019. In February 2019, data breaches affected Advent Health and Uconn Health, two major healthcare providers. Data breaches impacted about 326,000 people in each case.

 

Hacking

 

Hacking has also been a major cyber threat in 2019. Hackers often operate anonymously and strike without warning. With the plethora of identifying information online today, including for businesses and individuals, a corporation or individual is at tremendous risk if their computer network is targeted by hackers. In March 2019, Dow Jones reported a major hack that affected over 2.5 million accounts. Spectrum Health Lakeland reported a hack that stole information from 60,000 patients.

 

Historic Attacks

 

Despite software and sophisticated tools used to combat it, cyber-attacks have been on the rise in recent years. Since 2016, major events have affected the global network. There were more than 130 large-scale attacks reported in 2017. Studies show the number of targeted breaches is growing by 27% each year.

  • 2016: “Year of the Phish”
  • 2017: 130 targeted attacks
  • 2018: Over 765 million affected by data breaches and cyber attacks

In 2016, there was a 6,000% increase in targeted attacks over 2015. Targeted attacks hit businesses every 40 seconds. Of the companies targeted, over 70% paid a ransom. More than 50% paid ransoms exceeding $10,000. Over 20% paid out $40,000 or more in ransoms.

Of the attacks reported, about 31% have affected technology infrastructure within organizations. One of the most famous attacks in 2017 involved the Wannacry Virus, which impacted nearly 150 countries and over 400,000 computers. This attack cost nearly $4 billion. Globally, losses surpassed $10 million by the year’s end.

In 2018, there was a noticeable shift in malware attacks from the cyber network to mobile devices. Malware variants for mobile devices increased 54% in 2017 alone. Most targeted third-party apps. There were 42 people and groups on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list of cyber criminals. About 12 billion records were hacked in 2018. That number is expected to reach 33 billion in 2023.

As evidenced by statistics, cyber-attacks are on the rise. There have been many in 2019 already, and there will be more to come. Fortunately, companies like Secure Forensics are working hard to combat cyber-attacks. We are here to help you with 24/7 service in cyber security defense. If you have suffered from a data breach, malware attack, or other type of cyber security problem, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us for assistance anywhere in the world at: 1-800-288-1407.