These 4 Industries Face the Greatest Risk of Cyber Attack

February 2, 2022

No industry is immune to cyber threats, and as cybercriminals grow in sophistication and savvy, industries like manufacturing and construction that were historically slow to adopt cybersecurity technology are rethinking their cybersecurity infastructures.  

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s been an uptick in cyberattacks, putting increased pressure on organizations that were already struggling to adapt and implement cybersecurity technology.

If you’re a business owner in one of these four industries, take a look at the cyber threats your industry faces — and how cybersecurity training can help.

Healthcare

The use of technology such as electronic health records (EHRs), remote patient monitoring solutions, and lack of cybersecurity training are among several reasons why hospitals and healthcare centers are goldmines for threat actors.

For starters, doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel often don’t have strong technical or cybersecurity backgrounds, resulting in a lack of training on how to remain safe when using each technology. Additionally, medical devices open more entry points for cybercriminals, remote access of patient data increases vulnerability, and the growing number of internet of things (IoT) devices in hospitals make it hard to keep up on security. 

One way companies in healthcare can easily tune up and fortify their cybersecurity is by investing in institutional cybersecurity knowledge and staff training to help manage new conditions—especially cybersecurity training that’s interactive, engaging, and gamified. Just as any healthcare facility has security protocols they follow to keep them and their platforms safe, the industry needs to implement an adjacent culture of cybersecurity when it comes to using management platforms and accessing sensitive information (to name a few). 

Manufacturing

Significant technological advances are constantly disrupting the manufacturing sector.  The adoption of Industry 4.0 technology such as industrial internet of things (IIoT) sensors, collaborative robotics, and factory management platforms has streamlined processes and helped companies realize a significant increase in overall efficiency. 

That same technology, though, has also made factory and warehouse networks much more vulnerable to hackers and cyber-attacks.

For example, large-scale fleets of IoT devices that collect data to manage smart factories intelligently increase the number of access points hackers can use to gain access to factory networks. Collaborative and internet-connected robots, even with suitable security measures in place, can create similar security risks. 

The proliferation of mobile devices has also created significant issues. More and more manufacturing workers use mobile devices to connect to company networks, share data, and investigate machinery on-the-go, which creates even more loopholes for hackers to exploit.

Ransomware attacks, malware that holds critical systems and files hostage until you pay a fee, has become especially common in the manufacturing industry, too. Security awareness training tailored to each employees’ existing cybersecurity knowledge will help your workers catch phishing schemes, avoid downloading suspicious attachments, and more.

Construction

Like other industries, the adoption of IoT in construction has created opportunities for threat actors to commit cybercrime—namely ransomware attacks and wire transfer fraud.  

In addition, Phishing schemes, malicious attachments, and man-in-the-middle attacks can all allow hackers to take control of company and personal devices or access your business’s network and steal valuable information. 

If you own a construction company, your workers are likely well-informed about the potential physical safety risks they’ll face on-site, however, you may not have invested enough resources and time into teaching your employees about the cybersecurity risks they’ll likely encounter too. 

Finance

In 2020, the European Central Bank identified the three greatest threats to the financial industry: increased digitization, obsolescence of banking information systems, and interconnection with third-party information systems. 

All data can be useful to hackers, but the information that banks and other financial institutions contain provide immediate utility for cybercriminals. Increased use of difficult-to-secure IoT devices by financial institutions make these networks even harder to keep safe. 

Network-level cyber defenses, however, can only go so far. Many financial institutions have systems that are regularly accessed by employees that don’t necessarily have strong technical backgrounds. Some of your employees may also work on the go — meaning they will periodically access company networks and confidential info with personal devices, using third-party connections that are less likely to be secure. 

Cybersecurity training empowers industries in the fight against cybercrime 

As with all best practices in cybersecurity, the best place to start when it comes to training is with each employee, since human error accounts for the lion’s share of cyberattacks each year. Security training can help your workers recognize the telltale signs of common cyber threats and respond appropriately.

Cyberattacks will continue to trend upward over the next few years. Although many companies are integrating highly-skilled cybersecurity teams and systems, there’s only so much IT staff can do if employees aren’t aware or up-to-date on new and ongoing threats. 

Fortunately, proper security training can teach your employees how to keep company data safe. Cybersecurity training will likely continue to be a valuable investment for the foreseeable future as new technology continues to disrupt the economy and create new opportunities for cybercriminals.

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