Check Point Research (CPR) has published a report on the trends in cyber attacks from the previous year, including data on the volume of attacks, the industries and regions affected, and specific countries impacted.
According to the cybersecurity firm, the global volume of cyberattacks reached an all-time high in Q4 with an average of 1,168 weekly attacks per organization.
The top three most attacked industries in 2022 were Education/Research, Government, and Healthcare.
Africa experienced the highest volume of attacks out of any geography with 1,875 weekly attacks per organization, followed by APAC with 1,691 weekly attacks per organization.
North America (+52%), Latin America (+29%), and Europe (+26%) showed the largest increases in cyberattacks in 2022, compared to 2021.
The US saw a 57% increase in overall cyberattacks in 2022. While the UK saw a 77% increase and Singapore experienced a 26% increase.
Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point Software, stated that there was a 38% increase in the number of cyberattacks per week on corporate networks in 2022 compared to the previous year. Dembinsky also noted that multiple cyber threat trends are occurring simultaneously.
Ransomware attacks are increasing in prevalence and becoming more sophisticated, with smaller criminal groups using agile tactics to evade law enforcement.
Hackers are also targeting business collaboration tools such as Slack, Teams, OneDrive, and Google Drive with phishing exploits.
The education/research sector has been particularly affected, experiencing a 43% increase in attacks in 2022 compared to 2021, with an average of 2,314 attacks per organization per week.
The rapid shift to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has left many academic institutions unprepared for the resulting security challenges.
Children and young adults, who often use their own devices, work from shared locations and connect to public Wi-Fi, present additional security concerns for schools and universities.
In 2022, the healthcare sector in the US experienced an average of 1,410 weekly cyberattacks per organization, a 86% increase from the previous year.
The healthcare sector ranked second in terms of the most number of cyberattacks among all sectors in the US. Smaller hospitals are particularly vulnerable to attacks due to their limited cybersecurity resources.
Hackers often target the healthcare sector because they can potentially access valuable information such as health insurance details, medical records numbers, and sometimes even social security numbers.
Ransomware gangs may also threaten to release patient records unless payment is made.
The use of AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, by hackers, allows for the faster and more automated generation of malicious code and emails, leading to an increase in cyberattack activity.
To prevent attacks and breaches, it is important for organizations to prioritize prevention measures such as cybersecurity training, keeping patches up to date, and implementing anti-phishing measures.