In the previous articles in this series we focused on which industries are vulnerable to ransomware attacks (see Part 1) and which are vulnerable to data breaches (see Part 2). Today we’ll look at data breaches on a much larger scale.
While ransomware attacks and data breaches are often motivated by financial gain, they can also be the result of espionage and political moves. These types of attacks can be more sophisticated and the results can be even more devastating than regular hacks. While financially motivated attacks often target businesses as a matter of opportunity, espionage attacks target government information.
Public Sector Industry
The public sector covers a wide spectrum. From local city and county governments to national departments that serve entire nations, these entities must be prepared to become targets of sophisticated cybersecurity attacks. These are sometimes made by hackers simply to prove they can. The attacks on government entities can also be the result of state-sponsored hacking which generally aims to access state secrets such as those surrounding matters of national security.
Organizations around the world hack for political reasons, and because they often have huge databases. Even local government entities will have information for voters and utilities, and may be targeted at any time.
A majority of public sector organization are hacked for international information and not just personal information on individuals. As severe an issue as this is, it can be prevented the same way any other cybersecurity issue can: by training personnel to utilize proper security standards and instituting network monitoring.
Higher Education Industry
Higher education institutions can also be the target of more advanced hacking techniques. While not as sensitive as the information controlled by government entities, higher education institutions often deal with huge amounts of personal data that can be tempting for hackers.
In addition to personal data, these institutions are often connected with research groups, labs, and other groups that need access to their systems. These groups all represent points of weakness that can become opportunities for hackers. Because budgets for education are predetermined, it can be difficult for them to find funding for necessary cybersecurity improvements.
Data breaches can lead to universities losing students, followed by losing grants and research opportunities. This vicious cycle can lead to the failure of huge universities simply because of a lack of cybersecurity measures.
It’s imperative that higher education institutions take the necessary steps to protect their data and networks. Each point of connection to the main serer must be safe and standards for monitoring traffic must be in place in order to minimize hacking options.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
Over the course of this series we’ve seen many aspects of the importance of cybersecurity. From keeping your business from having to pay ransoms for your systems to protecting issues of national security, cybersecurity cannot be ignored.
If your business or organization hasn’t taken steps to prevent potential hacks in the future, you are at risk. With hacking becoming more and more common, now is the time to take the necessary steps to protect your information.
Not sure where to start improving your cybersecurity? Contact tekRESCUE for a risk assessment today.