7 Most Vulnerable Industries That Need Cybersecurity
In today’s digital world, cybersecurity is essential for any organization in any sector. Some workplaces may be more at risk than others, though. Just like physical dangers vary from industry to industry, some businesses need to take cybersecurity more seriously than others.
Cybercrime is on the rise, with more than 5,000 data breaches occurring in 2019 alone. As these threats keep growing, industries with more vulnerabilities or more sensitive data need to be careful. Here are seven sectors that should pay particular attention to their cybersecurity:
1. Health Care
The health care industry consistently ranks among the most vulnerable to cyberattacks. The sector loses roughly $5.6 billion every year to data breaches. Back in 2016, there was an average of one health care data breach every day.
Why is the health care sector such a favorite target for cybercriminals? It’s not necessarily that there’s a lack of security in the industry, but rather that health data is valuable. Hospitals deal with data like social security numbers, addresses and contact info, which are prime targets for a hacker.
It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that telecommunications companies are also at risk of cyberattacks. Think of how many essential processes rely on an internet or cellular connection these days. If a hacker can exploit the network itself, they can access a range of valuable data.
With 5G networks coming out, cybersecurity could be an even more significant concern for these businesses. Modern life relies on these connections, and the future will do so even more. In response, telecommunications networks need to make sure they have strong cybersecurity.
3. Financial Services
It doesn’t take much to see why financial services could be vulnerable. When your work involves handling other people’s money, you have a good chance of becoming a target. On top of money, hackers can get data like clients’ personal information.
Financial services also face more regulations about cybersecurity. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sometimes requires proof of security from businesses like investment advisors. Financial services need to have reliable cybersecurity both to protect their clients and meet new regulations.
When you think of computers and data, factories are probably not the first thing to come to mind. Regardless, the manufacturing industry could benefit from higher cybersecurity requirements. This sector is in the middle of a digital revolution, so it needs a cybersecurity revolution alongside it.
The modern factory is full of data points like Internet of Things (IoT) devices. There’s usually a considerable amount of money involved in these processes too. Add that all up with a historical lack of cybersecurity, and you have the perfect target for a hacker.
Cyberattacks in education are less common than some other industries, but they’re growing. There have been just over 850 attacks on U.S. schools since 2016, but 348 of those happened in 2019 alone. As education is becoming more digitized, cybersecurity becomes a more pressing concern.
There may not be a lot of money to get from hacking schools, but there is a lot of data. Education involves a considerable amount of sensitive info about students, faculty and staff. In the coming years, schools, especially universities, may have to take cybersecurity more seriously.
Finding construction on this list may come as a bit of a surprise. Like manufacturing, though, the construction industry has undergone an impressive technological shift. Construction companies use a lot of data now and may not have the experience to secure it.
One study found that construction workers are more likely to fall for phishing scams than any other employee. That number most likely comes from a lack of a strong cybersecurity culture in the industry. As the sector becomes more tech-forward, it will need to place more emphasis on cybersecurity.
The government isn’t exactly an industry, but it is susceptible to cyberattacks, so it deserves a spot on this list. For a cybercriminal, targeting a government agency is a game of high risk but high reward. Government documents can be among the most sensitive, and therefore most valuable, data there is.
It’s not just casual hackers that government agencies need to think about. Cyberattacks from terrorists or foreign powers are a growing concern across the world.
All Industries Need Reliable Cybersecurity
No matter what sector you work in, you should think about cybersecurity. The world as a whole is moving toward a digital, data-driven future, which makes securing that data a necessity. These seven industries may be particularly vulnerable, but they’re not the only ones that need well-rounded cybersecurity.